Viaduct an Engineering Marvel

An early image of the Viaduct from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

On September 11, 1987, the Linn Cove Viaduct—part of the Blue Ridge Parkway—was completed in Avery County. Internationally recognized as an engineering marvel, the curved bridge spans 1,243 feet and hugs an especially sensitive area of Grandfather Mountain.

Construction began in 1979 and cost about $10 million. The S-curve bridge consists of more than 150 precast individual segments joined together on Grandfather Mountain with epoxy glue and tension cables. Each of the segments weighs about 50 tons and is a different shape; only one is square and straight.

To minimize damage to the environment, the bridge served as its own building platform. Workers placed one segment after another using the bridge as their access road. As a consequence the viaduct proved that bridges could both achieve their transportation function and preserve the environment at the same time.

Since its opening, the viaduct has received numerous design awards including a Presidential Design Award in 1984 and the American Consulting Engineers Council Award for Engineering Excellence in 1985. It is operated by the National Park Service as part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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9 responses to “Viaduct an Engineering Marvel”

  1. Agnes Maria says :

    That is one sweet road.

  2. Eric McCarty says :

    Sep 11 was also the day that construction on the Parkway began in 1933.

  3. Ken Harbit says :

    Reblogged this on Our History and Culture.

  4. Ruth Pittman says :

    My husband along with my parents had the wonderful opportunity to walk across the Viaduct before traffic was allowed to begin crossing. So beautiful.

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