At 4226 feet the Big Dam Bridge is the longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge in the world! Visitors can enjoy the concrete deck and eight observations areas while taking in the breathtaking view of the Arkansas River and surrounding countryside.
It took eight years from conception to completion to build “The Big Dam Bridge”. There have been many who wondered about that name. How did it get that name? Was it just a marketing ploy or a statement of the obvious, a big bridge on a dam. It was a little of both and more. The first two or three years were tough, pulling together several federal, state and local agencies. There was some resistance. The design was complex. The costs were great. There came a time when everyone involved was ready to quit.
I walked into one of those meetings where the frustrations were running high with the tone and attitude of giving up. My response was simple, “we are going to build that dam bridge”. There was a pause and then laughter as people realized that I said “dam” instead of “damn”. But it served its purpose. That became an expression of resolve as we moved forward.
When we were preparing for the opening, I took the planning group, Denver Peacock and Jordan Johnson, up on the bridge. I think the comment was, “wow, this is big”. To which I responded, “yes, it’s a big dam bridge”. They recognized the marketing value for the opening and beyond.
Thus, we have “THE BIG DAM BRIDGE.”