BREAKS, Va. (WJHL) – The Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority awarded a grant up to $433,000 for infrastructure and improvements at a park that is planning to construct the longest pedestrian bridge on the continent.
According to a release from VCEDA, the grant will help fund the construction of a 725-foot pedestrian swinging bridge across the Russell Fork Gorge.
The bridge will start on the Virginia side of the park and end on the Kentucky side. When completed, it will be the longest pedestrian swinging bridge in North America, even longer than the Gatlinburg SkyBridge.
“VCEDA is pleased to continue to support the growth and expansion of the Breaks Interstate Park,” said Jonathan Belcher, VCEDA executive director/general counsel. “The park is a primary tourism asset in Southwest Virginia’s e-Region and VCEDA is pleased to play a part in this latest project.”
The grant will also fund additional clearing of right of way for electrical infrastructure for the park, site preparation and hydroseeding, utility upgrades, roof replacements, cabin improvements and other needs.
The park has also received $326,000 from sources other than VCEDA for the bridge project.
Construction of the bridge is currently expected to start in the fall of 2020 with a planned 2021 opening.