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West Virginia honored

It’s the longest steel-arch bridge in the United States and the engineering know-how that created it is celebrated on the new West Virginia state quarter.

The launch ceremony for the latest quarter in the U.S. Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program took place Oct. 14.

“This new quarter celebrates the natural splendor of West Virginia and its engineering triumph, the New River Gorge Bridge,” said Acting U.S. Mint Director David A. Lebryk. “The construction of this magnificent bridge is symbolic of the ingenuity and strength of West Virginians. Many obstacles had to be overcome to build it, but when finished, it was tall, graceful and indispensable.”

Together on the steps of the  State Capitol Building in Charleston, Lebryk and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin III launched the new quarter, which also shows the scenic beauty of the New River Gorge National River.
The ceremony also featured a presentation by actors portraying President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln.

Completed Oct. 22, 1977, the New River Gorge Bridge spans 3,030 feet, with an arch length of 1,700 feet. It turned what once was a 40-minute drive down winding mountain roads into a one-minute trip across the river.

The West Virginia quarter is now available in two-roll sets (40 coins per roll), including one roll each from the Philadelphia and Denver mints, and in bags of 100 and 1,000 coins. Two-roll sets are $32 each, 100-coin bags are $35.50 each and 1,000-coin bags are $300 each.

To order, visit the U.S. Mint Web site, www.usmint.gov.

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