Kentucky’s Tallest Bridge Won’t Have That Title Much Longer
That really high bridge at the top of the hill on Interstate 165 is what always alerts drivers--if they're familiar with the area--that they're almost to Bowling Green. As a child, I remember thinking it was the tallest bridge I'd ever seen.
Since then, I've seen taller but not in person. And I don't think I'd drive across any of them, even though I'm not generally bothered by bridges like some folks are. This crazy but beautiful thing is the Royal Gorge Bridge which rises 955 feet above the Arkansas River in, where else, Colorado. It's the highest bridge deck in the country. And no, I wouldn't drive across it. But that has a lot to do with the fact that it's mainly for pedestrian traffic, although it has been used for vehicle traffic from time to time.
If you're a bridge enthusiast and that looks tantalizing to you, then you should know that two of the six highest bridge decks in the U.S. are across the state line in West Virginia. One is the Phil G. McDonald Bridge at 700 feet above Glade Creek.
The other is the New River Gorge Bridge with an elevation of 876 feet. It also features a pedestrian catwalk.
But what about the highest bridge in Kentucky and where it ranks nationally? Well, you can't drive over it, but that's because the High Bridge, which elevates 275 feet over the Kentucky River, is a rail bridge.
But look out, High Bridge, you're about to be overtaken by the Pond Creek Bridge. They just have to finish building it, at which point--at 324 feet--it will be the highest bridge in Kentucky.
And when that happens, the Commonwealth will lay claim to two of the 30 highest bridges in the country. Considering the fact that there are more than 600,000 bridges in the U.S., that's not bad at all.