The Royal Gorge Bridge is the highest suspension bridge in the USA.
It held the world record as the highest suspension bridge in the world until the Liuguanghe Bridge was built in China in 2001. At 956 feet above the Arkansas River, the Royal Gorge Bridge was completed in only six months with no fatalities. In 1907, the federal government deeded Royal Gorge to the town of Canon City, Colorado for use as a municipal park. To enhance the appeal as a tourist attraction, a bridge was needed to cross the gorge. So, in 1929, the Royal Gorge Bridge and Amusement Company undertook the construction of a one-lane toll bridge. The bridge is 1,260 feet long and 18 feet wide. It is suspended from two 200-ton cables. Each cable has 2,100 strands of No. 9 galvanized wire in it. The floor of the bridge contains 1,000 tons of steel and almost 1,300 wooden planks. It took only $350,000 to build the Royal Gorge Bridge. To replace it today, it would cost over $10 million. The following people played key roles in the contruction of the Royal Gorge Bridge:
- Lon P. Piper was president of the Royal Gorge Bridge and Amusement Company.
- George E. Cole was the chief engineer and project superintendent.
- O.F. Copes was the north side construction superintendent.
- Fred Rice was the south side construction superintendent.
- O.K. Peck served as consulting engineer throughout the construction project.
Information on the Royal Gorge Bridge