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Ravenel Bridge Fast Facts

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bridge-with-fireworksOver the past few days, the city has been celebrating the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge’s 10th Anniversary, but how much do know about the iconic structure?

Here are some fast facts about the bridge:

  • Built to replace the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge
  • Construction began in 2001
  • Officially opened on July 16th, 2005
    • An impressive fireworks display was held the day before (clip below)
  • Connects downtown Charleston with Mt. Pleasant
  • Crosses over the Cooper River
  • Named after Republican politician Arthur Ravenel, Jr.
    • Ravenel was the driving force behind the bridge’s funding
  • It cost about $531 million dollars to complete
  • It is 13,200 feet long and has 8 lanes for vehicle traffic and a bicycle/pedestrian lane
    • The latter is 2.4 miles long (if only the portion on the bridge is measured).
  • The diamond towers are 575 feet tall
  • The bridge is about 180 feet above the water
  • There are 128 individual cables between the support piers
  • It was designed to endure wind gusts in excess of 300 mph and an earthquake of “approximately 7.4 on the Richter scale without total failure”
  • The bridge has 4 elevators, but have been called “unreliable” and have had issues since at least 2010.
  • Annually hosts the Cooper River Bridge Run
  • It is considered a cable-stayed bridge
  • Average daily traffic is 77,500 vehicles
  • The construction process was featured on an episode of Extreme Engineering (you can watch it below)

This website has some great photos of the Bridge’s construction.

Once the Ravenel Bridge was operational, the old Grace Memorial Bridge was blown up:

Here’s a clip of the opening ceremony:

Here’s the Extreme Engineering episode mentioned earlier:

Sources: CooperRiverBridge.org, ICA, Post & Courier, SCIWAY, Structurae.net, Wikipedia,

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