Ravenel Bridge over the Cooper River

Provided by SC DOT


New Construction

Building a Bridge * by Charleston.net

Aerial view of the existing Grace Bridge & a computer generation of the new proposed Bridge by Parsons, Brinckerhoff

Completed Structure

Grace Memorial Bridge - data base entry

News Articles:

Sverdrup Civil Designs Cooper River Bridge Company Press Release

Mayor Concerned with 'big' Bridge by Charleston.net 01-10-2000

House Boosts Bridge by The Post and Couier 03-27-1997

Money ain't where it used to be by The Post and Couier 10-07-1996

Replacing the Cooper Bridge question of how, not when by The Post and Couier 10-06-1996


Between Charleston, South Carolina (USA) and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, stands the Grace Memorial Bridge.  Completed in 1929, the cantilever steel structure has a main span of 1050 ft., or 320 m. and a total length of 3.6 miles or 5.79 Kilometers.  A parallel bridge, with a similar design but a shorter main span, was built in 1966.  This allowed the old bridge to be converted to one-way traffic.  The bridges have navigation clearance of 135 ft., or 41.15 m..  


as of 10-15-2001

The project replaces both the Grace Memorial Bridge and the Silas
Pearman Bridge.  The new bridge will be called the Arthur J. Ravenel, Jr.

A notice to proceed for the Design-Build contract was given on July 16,
2001.  Contract substantial completion date is July 15, 2006.  There is an
interim completion date required for moving southbound traffic from the
Grace Bridge--which has a 5 ton vehicular weight limit--to the new

as of 6-25-01

A contract with the apparent lowest bidder, Palmetto Bridge Constructors, is expected to be signed at a July 2 groundbreaking.  The Transportation Commission is to sign off on the contract at a June 28 meeting. Financing is a combination of federal, state and local tax money and includes a $215 million federal loan. Total construction will be for $631 million, making it the most expensive bridge project in S.C. history.

as of 4-13-2001

Charleston County Council members voted Thursday to guarantee local tax money for a new Cooper River bridge, the final piece of the financial puzzle that has eluded local leaders for more than a decade. The 6-3 vote, which will likely be affirmed at a formal council meeting Tuesday, could mean construction of a new bridge would begin as early as this summer.

as of 1-27-2001

Charleston city officials want a say in what a new Cooper River bridge will look like. State transportation officials want to control costs and get a bridge built.
The two sides ran headlong into each other Friday, leaving no clear consensus in their wake.  To begin in earnest a community discussion over what the bridge will look like, Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. formed a design committee of local architects and city officials.  They want to give the new bridge, as Riley put it: "The Charleston treatment."  State transportation engineers balked, saying the department is proceeding with a bridge design that it believes to be the least costly and is preferred by the public. 

as of 12-20-2000

State transportation officials on Tuesday showed off designs for twin, four-lane Cooper River bridges that could be built one at a time, and Charleston officials accused them of trying to sell half a bridge.
     S.C. Transportation Department officials say that there is only enough money to build one four-lane bridge right now. Their proposal, outlined at simultaneous public meetings in Mount Pleasant and Charleston Tuesday evening, calls for building the foundation for two side-by-side four-lane bridges - but initially erecting only one of the two spans.
     In the state's plan, the Grace Bridge would be knocked down and the Pearman would be used for northbound traffic until there is enough money to build a second new bridge.

as of 08-01-2000

SPA might give $50M for bridge

STIPULATION?: The State Ports Authority chairman said that in order for the port to give $50 million to the new bridge fund, the port would need to expand so it can generate more income.

as of 08-01-2000

This Project is being bid as a design-build project. 

as of 01-31-2000
Sverdrup Civil has been chosen to be responsible for project management and design of the bridge approaches to the main span.  J. Muller International is responsible for the main span design and produced the artists renderings.  Wilbur, Smith and Associates are responsible for all highway design including the interchange bridges.  Both JMI and WSA are significant partners with Sverdrup for this project.

as of 01-10-2000
Plans and support for funding are underway now for a new bridge that would replace the two existing structures.  At an estimated construction cost of $420 million,  three types of bridges are currently being discussed. For information on the upcoming project check the news articles at the left.

as of 09-16-2000

Three of some of the world's largest transportation firms submitted bids for the design and construction of a new eight-lane bridge that will span Charleston Harbor, joining the peninsula and Mount Pleasant. These three firms are: 
     Modern Continental Constructors, a combination of Modern Continental South Inc. and DUMEZ-GTM USA.
     Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture between SKANSKA USA and HBG Constructors Inc.
     Cooper River Bridge Constructors, a team comprising Traylor Brothers Inc., Fluor Daniel Infrastructure, Massman Construction Co., and Figg Bridge Engineers Inc.