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New River Parkway Design


The Middle River Basin offers motorists a series of diverse and dramatic landscapes. Planned additions to the number of recreational facilities in the area will mean more tourists. Making these areas more accessible, without detracting from the attractive vistas, is one challenge. Another is creating designs that meet the criteria of the client, the West Virginia Division of Highways, as well as satisfy the project’s other shareholders, including the National Park Service. To accomplish all these objectives, we were tasked with developing essentially a new kind of roadway improvement plan.

The current roadway is mostly a one-lane asphalt road with no shoulders. Our designs for The New River Parkway will create two lanes with shoulders that allow slow speed touring. The project scope also takes advantage of our expertise in hydraulics (for draining studies), retaining wall structure, and highway bridge design and engineering services that will culminate in the construction of a 2-span steel bridge. A number of other structures will be required and include a small precast concrete bridge, open bottom box culverts, oversized countersunk pipe culverts and retaining walls. Especially challenging is the client’s directive to minimize the use of cuts and fill. Input from the National Park Service and the New River Parkway Authority requires an open dialogue with the West Virginia Division of Highways. 

Project Geometry
Total Length of Project Six miles
Lanes on Highway two lanes

This gateway to the Gorge, to the largest protected system of rivers east of the Mississippi, will prove to be an important component of the overall attraction of our region to tourists and should play a considerable role in future marketing strategies. This parkway has long been part of a broad plan for economic development, the fruits of which we can see all around this area.

-Nick Joe Rahall, WV State Representative