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The Royal Gorge Bridge & Park is one of Colorado's best tourist attractions and is today the 24th highest bridge in the world.
There also stands an amusement park on the edges of the Gorge Bridge, located at both sides of the bridge. The Royal Gorge Bridge is located above the Arkansas River, at a height of 955 ft (291 m).
While visiting Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge is definitely an attraction to consider, as it is one of the most popular and the highest suspension bridge you can find in America. You are probably familiar with the world-famous Chrysler building in New York; the iconic building could be placed under the Royal Gorge Bridge. It is a magnificent accomplishment of engineering.
For 72 years, the Royal Gorge Bridge, completed in 1929, was the tallest bridge in the World. However in 2001, it lost its title as the tallest bridge when the Liuguanghe Bridge in Chine claimed the title. Read here to know more about this incredible structure.
Near Canon City, the Royal Gorge Bridge occupies a prominent place in United States tourism. There is also a 360-ac (1.4 sq km) amusement park located on the bridge's edge.
The bridge over the gorge is 955 ft (291 m) above the Arkansas River. Until 2001, this was considered the tallest bridge in the world, and it is still the tallest in the US.
The bridge was built between June and November 1929 and cost about $350,000, although the budget was only $100,000.
The president of the Royal Gorge Company financed the project and instructed chief engineer George E. Cole to complete the project in six months with zero deaths or injuries incurred.
In 1931 narrow gauge incline railway was built (today known as the Royal Gorge Route Railroad), and in 1937 there was a lighting system installed to lighten the gorge walls and bridges.
In 1950, a lodge was built by Silver Rock Railway. In 1967, there was an open bid for the right of leasing with many companies wanting to acquire the property.
This historic inclined railway was listed on the NRHP in 1983. It was registered on the papers that the incline railway and bridge owner was Canon City. But besides that, it has been leased to the Royal Gorge Bridge Company.
A rollercoaster known as the Skycoaster Royal Rush was opened in 2003. In 2010 the bridge was rebuilt, and on May 8, 2008, there was a grand reopening ceremony.
Discover more facts about its location.
The Royal Gorge Bridge is located inn Fremont County, in northern Colorado. The bridge straddling the Arkansas River.
The road that leads to the bridge is closest to Cañon City. Route 50 of the same road reconnects with Route 50 on the south side.
A visitor can enter and exit the park through the North Park Gate.
This bridge actually goes nowhere and does not serve any purpose other than that of a tourist attraction, and is just for the visitors who visit the park.
Engineers first had to figure out how exactly they could build a bridge across the 1260 ft (384 m) gap in the gorge. It was decided that the bridge would be a suspension bridge to be constructed with two towers and interconnecting cables to hold it steady. Many other cables are also attached to hold up the deck.
The bridge cables weighed about 200 tons, and there are 2100 cables bundled to secure the towers. Once the cables were assembled, they then assembled the deck of the bridge.
The bridge is 18 ft (5.5 m) wide.
The bridge houses about 1,292 Oregon fir planks which had to be bolted, and with no vertical truss, it meant that there was nothing to keep the planks still.
The bridge was built pretty fast but was never designed to accommodate heavy traffic and only serve as a tourist attraction for pedestrians with a moderate expected footfall.
Just below the bridge, visitors could also witness the railroad that runs along the base of the Royal Gorge.
When it was built in 1929, it took only seven months and 80 men to build the bridge along with their chief engineer.
There are several things that a person may not know about the bridge.
When this bridge was originally built, it was wildly expensive. The budget was estimated to be $100,000 to $250,000, but actually, it took $350,000. As it is essentially a huge part of an amusement park, it was seen to be the main park attraction.
That being said, there are several other lively attractions, such as the aerial tram and the Royal Rush Skycoaster. No matter the age, children and adults can have a lot of fun here, even on a short trip.
The aerial gondolas are another famous attraction that you can find alongside the bridge. What most don't realize is that the aerial tram was not that famous initially and wasn't as big an attraction as expected.
This is why it was replaced with the aerial gondolas, which is a completely immersive experience offering a 360° view of the vast natural beauty of Colorado. It is said that visitors can glide about 2,200 ft (670.5 m) across the gorge, and being 1,200 ft (365.7 m) high above the Arkansas River, making for a spectacular experience.
The Royal Gorge is in Canon City, and the park comes under the city limits. It, therefore, receives a lot of money as yearly commissions from the park.
The lease payment of $2.1 million in 2016 has set the record for the town. Since the bridge opened in 1929, do you know that around 26 million visitors have visited either the bridge or the park?
In 2013, a wildfire took place, and because of that, 90% of the park was impacted, claim park officials.
One hundred planks were damaged in the fire and had to be replaced. After this incident, the bridge was refurbished and reopened in 2014. When it was reopened, it called for a grand reopening that came after the heavy spend of $30 million to repair the bridge and park.
Most people may not be aware that a Texan-based oil magnate bought the bridge but never saw the bridge in real life, not even when he became the sole owner of the bridge.
Has anyone died at the Royal Gorge Bridge?
In 2015, a 44 years old woman fell 400 ft (122 m) from the observation deck of the Royal Bridge.
How old is the Royal Gorge Bridge?
The bridge was built in 1929, making it 93 years old.
Where is the highest bridge in the United States?
The highest bridge you can find in the United States is Royal Gorge Bridge and Park over the Arkansas River in Colorado.
Who built the Royal Gorge Bridge?
George F. Cole built it.
Where is the Royal Gorge Suspension bridge?
The Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge is in Fremont County, Colorado.
What is the elevation of the Royal Gorge Bridge?
There are 956 feet of relief above the Arkansas River on the Royal Gorge Bridge.
How long is the Royal Gorge Gondola ride?
The Royal Gorge Gondola ride glides 2, 200 ft (671 m) across the gorge.
Can you see the Royal Gorge Bridge without paying?
Yes, you can see the bridge without paying. The Bridge entry is entirely free for the visitors.
Can you drive across the Royal Gorge?
The bridge is open for pedestrians, but they have to maintain social distancing. Vehicles are not allowed there.
How did the Royal Gorge get its name?
In 1874, The nickname was given, according to the Canon City Daily Record newspaper. However, it was when a photographer clicked the photo, and beneath that, he wrote The Royal Gorge.
Why is the Royal Gorge important?
The highest suspension bridge in the United States sits on the Royal Gorge. It spans 1260 ft (384 ft) and sits about 1053 ft (321 m) above the Arkansas River.
What caused the Royal Gorge Fire?
The Canon City Police Department confirmed that human interference caused the fire.
What was the Royal Gorge Bridge built out of?
The Royal Gorge Suspension Bridge was built with steel and an Oregon fir timber deck.
What river runs under the Royal Gorge?
Colorado's Royal Gorge crosses the Arkansas River and is a deep and tempered canyon that cuts across the Rocky Mountains.
Did the Royal Gorge Bridge burn?
On June 11, 2013, a fire broke out at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Wildlife Park. The fire didn't last long, but the park and bridge did take significant damage, which led to it being closed for repairs and later reopened.
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