Royal Gorge Bridge
The Royal Gorge Bridge is a tourist attraction near Cañon City, Colorado, within a 360-acre (150 ha) theme park. The bridge deck hangs 955 feet (291 m) above the Arkansas River, and held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 until 2001, when it was surpassed by a bridge in China. It is a suspension bridge with a main span of 938 feet (286 m). The bridge is 1,260 feet (384 m) long and 18 feet (5.5 m) wide, with a wooden walkway with 1292 planks. The bridge is suspended from towers that are 150 feet (46 m) high.

Construction and history
The bridge was constructed in six months, between June 5, 1929, and late November 1929, as a toll bridge, at a cost of $350,000. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. The bridge was not constructed for transportation purposes; instead, it was built with the intent that it serve as a tourist attraction, and has continued to be one of the most-visited tourist attractions in Colorado since its construction. The Royal Gorge Route Railroad runs under the bridge along the base of Royal Gorge. Measuring from deck to the river below, the Royal Gorge Bridge held the record of highest bridge in the world from 1929 to 2001, when it was surpassed by the Si Du River Bridge. It is still the highest bridge in North America. The cable-stayed Viaduc de Millau, completed in December 2004, is the tallest bridge in the world, at 1,118 feet (341 m), measured from the ground to the top of the bridge piers. However, its deck is only 885 feet (270 m) above the River Tarn. The height of the Royal Gorge Bridge makes it an attractive spot for suicide by jumping; however, park and security personnel constantly patrol the bridge in order to prevent such suicides. In 1980 the bridge hosted the television show "That's Incredible" for a different kind of jumping. On the show a group of British bungee jumpers from the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club consumed excessive amounts of Champagne before stepping off the bridge to set, at the time, world records for the highest bungee jump. The record setting jump went 800 feet (240 m) into the 1,053-foot (321 m) canyon. In 1981 the bridge was the subject in a GM Super Bowl commercial where in which GM suspended several hundred one gallon gas cans from under the bridge to demonstrate the amount of gas their new car would save you. The bridge was closed to vehicle traffic from 1982-83 for significant renovations. During this time new cable anchors were installed. The original rusting cable ends were replaced by new multi-strand cables and then each of the 2,100 strands of existing suspension cable were spliced together with the new anchor cables. The bridge also got new floor timbers, wind cabling, and improvements to the bridge towers. The cost of the renovations were $2.8 million or about 140% of the original purchase price, accounting for inflation. In October 2003, while performing a proximity demonstration, wingsuiter Dwain Weston was killed attempting to fly over the bridge. Weston was wearing a wingsuit, a skydiving suit with fabric extended below the arms to the body and between the legs to catch air allowing for horizontal travel when skydiving. Weston was to go over the bridge while fellow skydiver Jeb Corliss was to go under it. Miscalculating his distance from the bridge, Weston struck a railing while traveling an estimated 160 km/h, killing him instantly and dismembering extremities.

Attractions at the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park
  • Aerial tram, built 1968
  • Incline railway, built 1931
  • Antique replica carousel
  • Horseback and burro rides
  • Silver Rock Railway
  • Mule Team Wagon Rides
  • Royal Rush Skycoaster, built 2003
  • Trolley
  • Cliff Walk (scenic overhang)
  • Point Sublime (scenic pavilion)
  • Petting Zoo
  • Visitor center and shopping
  • Various dining facilities

Building Activity

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