Drive on the most complicated segmental bridge ever built
The Linn Cove Viaduct is a bridge built off the side of a mountain located near Boone. Skirting the slopes of Grandfather Mountain as you drive along the Linn Cove Viaduct is a breathtaking experience. But the Linn Cove Viaduct was not constructed in such a complicated way to be beautiful, it was designed to protect the fragile environment of Grandfather Mountain, an International Biosphere Reserve. Completed in 1983 at a cost of $10 million, the Linn Cove Viaduct was the last section of the Blue Ridge Parkway to be finished. It was the first bridge in America to be built from the top down to protect the environment. At 4,400 feet above sea level, the S-shaped bridge has 180-foot spans and contains every type of alignment geometry used in highway construction, including reverse curvature. It has won 11 design awards including the Presidential Award for Design Excellence from the National Endowment for the Arts. It is one of the most popular spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway and travelers can stop at the Linn Cove Visitor Center to view a model and learn about the construction techniques used in developing the viaduct.
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