Project Details

JV Partner
South Carolina Department of Transportation
$541 million
December 2001
Start Date
July 2005
Completion Date

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

American Institute of Steel Construction
National Prize Bridge Award 2005
American Road and Transportation Builders Association
“PRIDE” Community Relations Award 2005
American Road and Transportation Builders Association
Globe Environmental Award 2005
Associated General Contractors of America
Build America Award 2006
"Our design-builder was able to substantially complete the project more than one year ahead of the required completion date…the bridge has truly become an icon for the Charleston area."
Charles T Dwyer, P.E., Project Manager, South Carolina Department of Transportation