10 votes

Linn Cove Viaduct


A spectacular 'one-of-a-kind' concrete segmental bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway, designed not to disturb the surrounding landscape, located on the side of Grandfather Mountain near Linville, North Carolina

Photo taken by Calvin Sneed in November 2010


BH Photo #186352

Street Views 


Linn Cove Viaduct via a long selfie stick and 360 camera

Video by Mark Boettcher

Play video on YouTube


Concrete deck girder bridge over Linn Cove Branch and ridge boulder field on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Avery County, North Carolina
Open to traffic
Known as the "missing link" of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Built from 1979 to 1982, using 153 precast segments, each weighing 50 tons, assembled one-by-one, using the cantilever method, and epoxyed into place.
- Figg & Muller Engineering Group of Tallahassee, Florida (Design)
- Jasper Construction Co. (Builders)
Built as an "S" curve over Linn Cove Branch and boulder field. Steel cables threaded through the 153 precast segments are holding them in place with epoxy. Each segment was cast against the segment preceeding it, using the cantilever method (only the second bridge in the world built in this manner), then glued into place with the epoxy. The bridge was designed to impact the surrounding Linn Cove boulder field as little as possible. Most of the bridge construction equipment was located on the bridge itself, and equipment on the ground could not be more than 50 feet away from the piers. The only access road to the construction site was the Parkway itself, and the only trees cut were the ones directly under the bridge. Surrounding rocks and boulders were covered to prevent staining from the epoxy, even though our pictures found some.
Total length: 1,243.0 ft.
Deck width: 39.5 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+36.09513, -81.81223   (decimal degrees)
36°05'42" N, 81°48'44" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/426882/3994805 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Grandfather Mountain
4102 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 47007 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 8, 2021: New video from Mark Boettcher
  • February 24, 2016: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • August 15, 2013: New photo from Michael Miller
  • November 29, 2010: Updated by Calvin Sneed: Oops..double-checked-- these are indeed continuous spans..the builder did an excellent job of hiding the junctions between the piers
  • November 16, 2010: Updated by Eric Root: corrected location to Blue Ridge Parkway rather than 221
  • November 14, 2010: Added by Calvin Sneed


  • Calvin Sneed - us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Eric Root - ejort [at] att [dot] net
  • Michael Miller - michael_a_miller [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Mark Boettcher


Linn Cove Viaduct
Posted December 2, 2010, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

This bridge qualifies to be placed in the "S Bridge" category. So far, S Bridges are very rare. This bridge is a modern version of one.

Linn Cove Viaduct
Posted November 14, 2010, by Craig Philpott (cphilpott [at] puc [dot] edu)

Modern concrete beautifully used to best effect. Sometimes advances in technology do end up benefiting the engineering and the visual attractiveness of the structure.

Linn Cove Viaduct
Posted November 14, 2010, by Calvin Sneed (us43137415 [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Here are some construction pictures of the bridge.

As mentioned, each 50-ton section was pre-assembled and pre-cast at another location, then delivered to the construction site by special trucks via the parkway itself. This process was repeated 183 times (183 sections). Because of the S-curve design, no two segments are the same. Note the segmented balanced cantilever method of laying out and placing the girders in place.. pre-stressing tendons start on one side, and gradually decrease in size towards the midspan.. it's a careful and delicate style that has only been done at one other bridge, the San Juan Bridge in the Phillipines.