Scenic USA - North Carolina

Linn Cove Viaduct

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Linn Cove Viaduct - Linville, North Carolina

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website
Inset Historical Photos - Courtesy NPS

     One of the longest scenic drives in the world is found in America, Linn Cove Viaduct Construction - NPS following the mountain tops of the Appalachians from Virginia to Tennessee. The last section to be built on the 470 mile Blue Ridge Parkway crosses a rugged, yet environmentally fragile area of Grandfather Mountain. Often called by its nickname, the missing link, the Linn Cove Viaduct challenged engineers to connect the parkway with a snake-like bridge on the steep slopes of Grandfather Mountain. Receiving 12 national awards, the Figg and Muller design called for 153 - 50 ton concrete segments. With no two pieces alike, the segments were assembled on site and set on Linn Cove Viaduct Design - NPS seven piers spaced 180 feet apart. Taking more than three years and costing almost 10 million dollars, the remarkable feat was completed in 1982 allowing sightseers to travel the entire length of the parkway. Open in 1987, the Linn Cove Bridge completed the byway 52 years after initial its construction.
     A radical approach from standard cut-and-fill road construction, building the bridge required use of the parkway as an access road. A special crane lowered each section into place. The only work at ground level was the bore sights for each of the seven piers. Visitors are able to see this exceptional bridge from a walking trail. The trailhead begins at the Linn Cove Visitor Center, allowing close up views of the viaduct from above and below.

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