Dear Whitewater Adventurer:
We write to let you know of a BIG change happening in the New River Gorge. Please read the Press Release below for imperative information about this landmark event.
National Board of Parks: New River Gorge Bridge Must be Moved
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Due to the destruction of the West Virginia mudrat habitat, a protected and endangered species, the W.Va. Department of Thoroughfares and National Board of Parks have unveiled plans to move the New River Gorge Bridge, the most photographed landmark in West Virginia.
Officials say dismantling the bridge and moving it to a new location is the only viable option to save the habitat of this endangered species.
The Environmental Protection Association and the New River Institute (NRI) have been lobbying for the protection of this rodent’s natural habitat for decades, unbeknownst to local residents.
Insiders at NRI say recent studies concluded that the cliff network under the bridge is crucial for the vermin’s fragile reproduction cycle and thus, its ultimate survival.
The rarely spotted animal is nearly all tail and teeth and is known to cannibalize itself when its habitat is unsuitable for reproduction, according to professor Lionel Compton of the NRI.
“People who might question the case for moving the bridge need only look into the eyes of a mudrat that’s considering cannibalism, and I think they’ll change their minds.” Compton said.
The bridge is projected to be moved upstream to a location near the Summit Bechtel Reserve sometime late in 2014, according to a release from the Department of Thoroughfares.
Contractors were sent in last week to begin the project. Dismantling began with the careful removal of the bridge decking. Helicopters are being used to transport the steel super-structure upstream one piece at a time.
For more information about this project and alternate driving direction for those traveling south on Route 19 through Fayetteville, West Virginia, please click here.