Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Tale of Two Bridges--Bridge One

This is the Royal Gorge Bridge, built in Colorado in 1929. It is amazing that they had the means to build the world's highest suspension bridge at that time. It is a spectacular place to visit with vistas too breathtaking for words. It's not for anyone cautious of dizzying heights because it looks so fragile and so high. It is indeed a long way down to the Arkansas River--1,053 feet.

I like to include a trip to visit this amazing bridge anytime I visit the region.

Traffic can drive across the bridge from either direction or pedestrians can walk its length. Drivers are available to drive any vehicle across if its owner is the nervous sort. The size of the timbers spanning the deck aren't significant. They are three inches thick, and twelve inches wide. I'm not sure of the exact length of each board. They are bolted to the steel I-beams underneath. There are wooden curbs along the ends of the timbers, and a steel net rail attached. There is a steel framework underneath to which the wood is attached. 

As I looked down and took this picture of my feet, I was amazed that I could see the steel I-beams under the wooden timbers as well as the Arkansas River very far below. It is easy to see why one might think twice about walking on this bridge or driving over it. We were assured that it was perfectly safe. I didn't have a chance to see how they replace those timbers, because some looked overdue. It must be an interesting process to see. According to their fact sheet, 250 are replaced annually.

That's a long way down for a quarter. There is a train that runs along the banks of the river. There are also white water rafters but it is so far away, it is hard to see them.

So we hopped inside this cage which runs along an aerial tram all the way to the bottom.

We wanted to get the view of the bridge from the riverbank and it is so high, it is hard to see.

Halfway back to the top, I took this picture because I could see so much of the sky between the wooden timbers on the deck. There is a lot of space between some of the timbers. It is a fabulous piece of engineering, and just a little bit scary. Very impressive.

The tale of the second bridge will follow in the near future.


  1. Yup! That is scary. I don't think I could cross that easily. I can imagine the views must be spectacular though.

  2. By the way, I love your header!

  3. I don't think I have ever been on a bridge that high up, though the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco seemed high, too.

  4. I've been on that bridge many times. The time I was on the back of a motorcycle was probably the most exciting. I also love your header, which I think I already mentioned a while back.

  5. Thanks ladies. All comments are welcome and appreciated.