The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation. Surveys show that the journey to the other side is always considered the highlight of a trip to Grandfather Mountain.
Access - requires climbing 50 stairs to reach the level of the Swinging Bridge. Those who choose not to climb the stairs can enjoy similar vistas from the parking area.
Name - Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name " Mile High Swinging Bridge" at the Bridge's dedication in 1952.
* The term "mile high" refers to the structure's elevation above sea level (5,280 feet) * The term "swinging" refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.
Built - 1952
* Designed by - Charles Hartman, Jr., Greensboro, NC * Construction - actually fabricated in Greensboro and then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took three weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. * Cost -$15,000 * Dedicated - Sept. 2, 1952 by North Carolina Gov. William B. Umstead.
Rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span.
* Redesigned - 1999 by Sutton, Kennerly & Associates Engineering of Asheville, N.C. * Rebuilt by - Taylor & Murphy Construction Company of Asheville * Cost of rebuilding - $300,000