The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is in my heart.
According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rio_Grande_Gorge_Bridge,
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, locally known as the “Gorge Bridge” and the “High Bridge”, is a steel deck arch bridge across the Rio Grande Gorge 10 miles (16 km) northwest of Taos, New Mexico, United States.
A community of vendors sells on the side of the highway just off the west end of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. To those folks, it’s known as The Bridge. When Gorge Bridge vendors talk to each other, what other bridge could they possibly mean?
The Gorge Bridge’s Wikipedia page goes on to state,
[Construction on t]he bridge was started in 1963 and completed in 1965. It was dedicated on September 10, 1965 and is a part of U.S. Route 64, a major east–west road. The span is 1,280 feet (390 m): two 300-foot-long (91 m) approach spans with a 600-foot-long (180 m) main center span.
According to Taos.org (http://taos.org/art/historic-landmarks?/item/2/Rio-Grande-Gorge-Bridge),
the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge [is] the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. The bridge is a three-span steel continuous-deck-truss structure with a concrete-filled steel-grid deck. It was called the “bridge to nowhere” while it was being built because the funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side.
650 feet (200 m) above the Rio Grande…is the fifth highest bridge in the United States,
so there is a discrepancy between what that website and Wikipedia have to say about the bridge. The figure I always heard vendors tell tourist is 680 feet from The Bridge to the bottom of the Rio Grande Gorge.
Both websites agree that
[i]n 1966 the American Institute of Steel Construction awarded the bridge “Most Beautiful Steel Bridge” in the “Long Span” category.
The Wikipedia page also says,
A $2.4 million “facelift” to the bridge was completed in September 2012. This year-long project included repair and restoration work to the 50-year-old bridge including structural steelwork, a new concrete deck surface, new sidewalks, ramps, curbs, and gutters.
I was near The Bridge almost every day during the final days of its “facelift.” I heard the man in charge of the entire operation tell someone that the repairs being made on The Bridge would last 15 to 20 years, at which time a whole new bridge would have to be built.
Both Taos.org and Wikipedia agree,
RoadsideAmerica.com (http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/30189) says the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is on
US Hwy 64, either 19 miles east of US Hwy 285, or 86 miles west of I-25 exit 419. There are small gravel parking lots on either end of the bridge, and pedestrian sidewalks on both sides of the highway.
I took all of the photos in this post.