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Encyclopedia > Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge as seen from Charleston.
Official name Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Carries U.S. Route 17
Crosses Cooper River
Locale Charleston, South Carolina
Maintained by South Carolina Department of Transportation
Design Cable-stayed bridge
Longest span 1,546 feet (471 m)
Total length 13,200 feet (4.0 km)
Width eight 12-foot (3.7 m) lanes
Clearance below 186 feet (57 m)
AADT 69,200[1]
Opening date July 16, 2005
Coordinates 32°48′10″N, 79°54′54″W

The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, also known as the Cooper River Bridge, is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in South Carolina, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant. The eight lane bridge satisfied the capacity of U.S. Highway 17 when it opened in 2005 to replace two obsolete cantilever truss bridges. The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m), the longest among cable-stayed bridges in the Western Hemisphere. It was built using the design-build method and was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 230 pixelsFull resolution (3888 × 1116 pixel, file size: 1. ... United States Highway 17 (also known as the Ocean Highway) is a north-south United States highway. ... The Cooper River is a river in the U.S. state of South Carolina. ... Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... The logo of SCDOT The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is a government agency in the U.S. State of South Carolina. ... A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns (normally referred to as towers or pylons), with cables supporting the bridge deck. ... Annual average daily traffic, abbrevated AADT, is a term used primarily in transportation planning and transportation engineering. ... July 16 is the 197th day (198th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 168 days remaining. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns (normally referred to as towers or pylons), with cables supporting the bridge deck. ... The Cooper River is a river in the U.S. state of South Carolina. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston(1670-1789) Columbia(1790-present) Largest city Columbia Largest metro area Columbia Area  Ranked 40th  - Total 34,726 sq mi (82,965 km²)  - Width 200 miles (320 km)  - Length 260 miles (420 km)  - % water 6  - Latitude 32°430N to 35°12N... Nickname: Motto: Aedes Mores Juraque Curat (She cares for her temples, customs, and rights) Location of Charleston in South Carolina. ... Mount Pleasant is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, in the United States. ... MAJOR JUNCTIONS JUNCTION POSTMILE {{{junction}}} Legend BROWSE STATE HWYS {{{browse}}} United States Highway 17 is a north-south United States highway. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The geographical western hemisphere of Earth, highlighted in yellow. ... Design-Build(D-B) is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner holds a single contract with a single entity for both the design and construction of a project. ... Established more than 120 years ago, Parsons Brinckerhoff is a worldwide provider of infrastructure services. ...

Contents

History

The first bridge to cross the lower Cooper River opened in 1929, eventually named the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge for former Charleston mayor John P. Grace, who spearheaded the project. The main span of the double cantilever truss bridge was the fifth longest in the world at 1,050 feet (320 m) and soared 150 feet (46 m) above the river. The main span of the second cantilever was the twelth-longest in the world. The total length of the structure was about 2.7 miles. Following a 17 month construction at a cost of $6 million, it opened with a 3 day celebration that attracted visitors from around the globe. Engineers and critics proclaimed colorful descriptions of the unique structure, deeming it "the first roller-coaster bridge" and citing that "steep approaches, stupendous height, extremely narrow width, and a sharp curve at the dip conspire to excite and alarm the motorist." Privately owned originally, a 50-cent toll was charged for car and driver to cross. In 1943 the state of South Carolina purchasd the bridge, and the tolls were lifted in 1946. Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Grace Memorial Bridge was a cantilever bridge that crossed the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ...

The Cooper River Bridge on opening day, August 8, 1929.
The Cooper River Bridge on opening day, August 8, 1929.

By the 1960s the Grace Memorial Bridge had become insufficient, with its two narrow 10-foot (3 m) lanes built for Ford Model A's and its steep grades of up to 6 percent. A new bridge was constructed alongside and parallel to it. Named for the then-South Carolina Highway Commissioner, the Silas N. Pearman Bridge opened in 1966 at cost of $15 million. Its three lanes, at a modern 12-foot (3.7 m) width, opened to northbound traffic while its older counterpart carried the southbound traffic into downtown Charleston. One lane was reversible on the Pearman bridge, which led to signs warning "Use lanes with green arrow" and "Do not use red X lane" on the bridge. Image File history File links The Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina. ... Image File history File links The Cooper River Bridge in Charleston, South Carolina. ... is the 220th day of the year (221st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1929 (MCMXXIX) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Silas N. Pearman Bridge, known locally as the New Cooper River Bridge from the opening date to the groundbreaking of its replacement, was a cantilever bridge that crossed the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


The two truss bridges had become functionally obsolete by 1979. Extensive metal deterioration caused by the lack of maintenance shortly after Grace Bridge's tolls were removed limited the capacity of the older Grace bridge to ten ton vehicles (later five tons), and the reversible lane on the Pearman was eliminated (it had been able to switch to three lanes northbound for rush hour traffic), making that lane southbound permanently, diverting all heavy trucks, busses, and recreational vehicles to that lane on the Pearman bridge. Neither of the bridges had emergency lanes, and the Pearman bridge had no median between the northbound and southbound lanes because of its reversible lane, and it was not until 2002 when flexible barriers were added to the Pearman bridge to prevent head-on collisions. Look up ton in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Furthermore, the vertical clearance above the river – once among the highest in the world – could no longer accommodate modern shipping vessels. Three of Charleston’s four shipping terminals are situated up the Cooper and Wando Rivers, and the limited bridge clearance excluded the access of ships that would otherwise be beneficial to the economy of South Carolina. Now that the old bridges are disassembled, the world’s largest modern container ships are able to access all terminals of the nation's fourth-largest container port. The Wando River is a tidewater river in the coastal area of South Carolina. ...


Building the Bridge

Funding

Raising financial support for a new eight-lane bridge over the Cooper River was a struggle 20 years in the making, prolonged by the state's insistence that it could not afford such a bridge and by Charleston's reluctance to provide any funds for the project. Several proposals were made for a toll bridge, but the mayors of Charleston and Mount Pleasant objected. When officials revealed in 1995 that the Grace Bridge scored a 4 out of 100 for safety and integrity, retired U.S. Congressman Arthur Ravenel, Jr. ran for the South Carolina Senate with a goal of solving the funding problem. He helped to establish the S.C. Infrastructure Bank and worked with local, state, and federal officials to create partnerships that helped to materialize the final funding. Arthur Ravenel, Jr. ... The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the South Carolina General Assembly. ...


The State Infrastructure Bank budgeted $325 million to accompany $96.6 million from the Federal Highway Administration. The project did not become a reality, however, until the SIB agreed to commit to a $215 million federal loan, provided that Charleston County would contribute $3 million a year for 25 years, including an 8.33% sales tax increase, to the federal loan, as well as yearly payments from the SCDOT and State Ports Authority. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a division of the United States Department of Transportation that specializes in highway transportation. ... Charleston County is a county located in the state of South Carolina. ...


Design

Road deck of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.
Road deck of the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge.

Charleston’s new bridge over the Cooper River is a cable-stayed suspension design with two diamond-shaped towers, each soaring to a height of 575 feet (175 m). The total length of the structure is 13,200 feet (4.0 km), with the main span stretching 1,546 feet (471 m) between the towers. 128 individual cables anchored to the inside of the diamond towers suspend the deck 186 feet (57 m) above the river. The roadway consists of eight 12-foot (3.7 m) lanes, four in each direction. A campaign by locals eventually led to the addition of a 12-foot bicycle and pedestrian path to the design, which runs along the entire south edge of the bridge overlooking Charleston Harbor and the Atlantic Ocean. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x800, 356 KB) Arthur Ravenel, Jr. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1200x800, 356 KB) Arthur Ravenel, Jr. ... A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns (normally referred to as towers or pylons), with cables supporting the bridge deck. ...


The bridge superstructure is designed to withstand shipping accidents and the natural disasters that have plagued Charleston’s history. The span is designed to endure wind gusts in excess of 300mph (480 km/h), far stronger than those of the worst storm in Charleston's history, Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Engineers also had to be mindful of the 1886 earthquake that nearly leveled Charleston. The Ravenel Bridge is designed to withstand an earthquake to approximately 7.4 on the Richter scale without total failure. To protect the bridge from uncontrolled ships, the towers are flanked by one-acre rock islands. Any ship will run aground on the islands before it can collide with the towers. Lowest pressure 918 mbar (hPa; 27. ... Year 1989 (MCMLXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays 1989 Gregorian calendar). ... Damage from Charleston earthquake of August 31, 1886 The Charleston Earthquake of 1886 was the largest quake to hit the Southeastern United States. ... The Richter magnitude test scale (or more correctly local magnitude ML scale) assigns a single number to quantify the size of an earthquake. ...


Construction

Groundbreaking on the bridge occurred in 2001 in Mount Pleasant. The bridge was built as a design-build project, meaning that one contract was signed to both design and construct the bridge. This meant that construction could begin even while the design was not yet finalized. The bridge was built by a joint venture of two major construction firms operating under the name Palmetto Bridge Constructors. The joint venture partners were Tidewater Skanska of Norfolk, Virginia and Flatiron Constructors of Longmont, Colorado. The construction joint venture hired Parsons Brinckerhoff to complete the design. For the sake of simplifiying labor and equipment resources, Palmetto Bridge Constructors actually managed the building of the bridge as five separate projects (the two highway interchanges at either end of the bridge, the two approach spans, and the cable-stayed span) going on simultaneously. Design-Build(D-B) is a project delivery method in which the agency or owner holds a single contract with a single entity for both the design and construction of a project. ... A joint venture (often abbreviated JV) is an entity formed between two or more parties to undertake economic activity together. ... Skanska, is a multinationaland corrupt construction and development company based in Sweden. ... Motto: Crescas (Latin for, Thou shalt grow. ... The City of Longmont is a home rule municipality located in Boulder County and Weld County, Colorado, United States. ... Established more than 120 years ago, Parsons Brinckerhoff is a worldwide provider of infrastructure services. ...


By the summer of 2002 the foundations for the towers and most of the piers were in place and the rock islands were completed. The steel and concrete towers began to ascend from the islands soon after. Originally, each of the towers was to be topped with a 50 foot multicolored LED "beacon," but public opinion caused this plan to be scrapped.


The first cables were hung from the towers in 2004--as a time-saving measure, this was done before the towers were wholly completed. Sections of the deck were built outward from each of the towers as more cables were hung.


The decks of the approaches were taking shape as well. Construction of part of the roadway actually occurred over the top of the old cantilever bridges, which remained open to traffic without interruption.


A ceremony was held in March 2005, when the last slab of the deck was added, thus making the bridge "complete." But paving, installation of lights and signs, and cleanup meant that the bridge would not open for another four months.


Following a week-long celebration that included a public bridge walk, concerts, dinners, and fireworks, the bridge was dedicated and opened on July 16, 2005 – one year ahead of schedule and under budget. The bridge was featured on the TV show Extreme Engineering. July 16 is the 197th day (198th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 168 days remaining. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... Extreme Engineering is a series on the Discovery Channel which features futuristic and ongoing engineering projects. ...


Bridge Run

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge view from the battery, July 2006. The last fragments of the two old bridges can be seen in the background.

The bridge is home to the annual USA Track & Field 10,000 meter Cooper River Bridge Run on the first weekend of April. This event attracts up to 50,000 people. The route starts in Mount Pleasant and finishes in downtown Charleston at Liberty Square. Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 439 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Arthur Ravenel Jr. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (1600 × 1200 pixel, file size: 439 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Arthur Ravenel Jr. ... The Cooper River Bridge Run is an annual 10,000 meter run, sanctioned by USA Track and Field, held in the cities of Mount Pleasant and Charleston in South Carolina, on the first Saturday in April, unless it is the day before Easter Sunday, when the event is held on... Mount Pleasant is a town in Charleston County, South Carolina, in the United States. ...

References

  1. ^ SCDOT Traffic Counts, Accessed April 16, 2007
  • Annan, Jason; & Gabriel, Pamela (2002). The Great Cooper River Bridge. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press. ISBN 1-57003-470-2
  • The Cooper River Bridge (2004). South Carolina Department of Transportation Accessed July 23, 2005.
  • Porter, Arlie: "State finalizes Cooper River bridge funding." The Post and Courier, July 2, 2001.
  • Roko, Ellyde: "New bridge ends its 'long journey'." The State, July 17, 2005.

The logo of SCDOT The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is a government agency in the U.S. State of South Carolina. ... July 23 is the 204th day (205th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 161 days remaining. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 183rd day of the year (184th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2001 (MMI) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ... July 17 is the 198th day of the year (199th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links

Crossings of the Cooper River
Upstream
Silas N. Pearman Bridge
(1966-2005)
Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge
Downstream
Atlantic Ocean

 
 

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