Building the Arthur Ravenel Bridge
The Arthur Ravenel Bridge is a cable stayed bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina. At the time of construction, the 1,546 cable-stayed main span was the longest in North America. 128 cable stays suspended from two, 573-foot-tall towers—visible from 30 miles away—support structural steel girders and precast concrete deck panels.
The design-build project was constructed in five separate, simultaneous projects: two interchanges, two high-level approaches and a main span. The project includes more than a mile of eight-lane high-level approaches and major interchanges.
Replacing existing, narrow bridges built in 1929 and 1966, the Cooper River Bridge main span is eight lanes wide with an additional 12-foot-wide bicycle and pedestrian lane. The bridge is designed to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and ship impacts. Bridge towers are protected by man-made barriers comprised of 531,000 tons of quarry stone and 167,000 tons of armor stone. Eleven drilled shafts plunge 200 feed down through each of the bridge’s main footings.
The project has earned numerous industry awards for excellence in construction and engineering.
Cable-stayed bridge with two 573-foot-tall towers
Longest cable-stayed main span (1,546 feet) at time of construction
Eight vehicles lanes and 12-foot-wide bicycle/pedestrian lane
Includes high-level approaches and major interchanges