Hanging high above Colorado’s wild Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge Bridge is America’s highest suspension bridge and a legendary feat of engineering renowned the world over. Built in 1929 for $350,000, the cost today would easily exceed $20 million. It was a world wonder then and still is today. For those who venture across it, whether walking or driving, the experience is priceless.
Construction on the world’s highest suspension bridge at that time began June 5, 1929 and was completed November 1929, with no serious injury or death of workers.
The project was financed by Lon P. Piper, president of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Amusement Company with George E. Cole as the Chief Engineer. O.F. Copes was the north side construction superintendent, Fred Rice was the south side construction superintendent, and O.K. Peck served as consulting engineer throughout the construction project.
Length: 1,270 feet (387 meters)
Width: 18 feet (5 meters)
Main Span: 880 feet (268 meters)
Towers: 150 feet high (46 meters)
Deck Height: 956 feet above the Arkansas River
2,100 strands of No. 9 galvanized wire in the cables
Weight of cables: 300 tons
1,000 tons of steel on the floor of the Bridge
Walkway: 1,270 planks on the deck, around 250 boards are replaced annually
Bridge will support in excess of two million pounds.
Listed on The National Register of Historic Places
Bridge Refurbishment: 1980-1984, reconstruction of bridge anchoring system and suspension rods, re-painting, cost, $2,859,710
Survivor of the 2013 Royal Gorge Fire: 100 boards replaced on the south side of the bridge
Elevation: 6,700 ft