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Quick Fact Friday 2019-04-05
Posted on Apr 5th, 2019

 

On August 8, 1929, the Cooper River Bridge became the first bridge to span the Charleston Harbor. The opening of the bridge was accompanied by a grand three-day celebration and parade. The Cooper River Bridge was a toll bridge privately constructed in 17 months and cost $6 million. In 1943, it was renamed the Grace Memorial Bridge in honor of John P. Grace, former Charleston mayor. In 1945, the S.C Highway Department purchased the bridge and, the following year, removed the tolls. The Silas N. Pearman Bridge, a new three-lane bridge, named after Silas N. Pearman, chief commissioner of the S.C. Highway Department, opened in 1966 next to the old bridge. The growing popularity of the area brought heavier traffic than the two bridges could accommodate. The two old bridges were demolished and replaced with the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge. Some of the footings from the old bridges were used for the pilings of the Waterfront Park Pier in Mount Pleasant.

 

The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge was named by an Act of the General Assembly in honor of S.C. Senator Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Costing more than $600 million, the bridge was the largest single construction project in S.C. history. The Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge opened for pedestrians only on July 9th and 10th, 2005. Upon opening to vehicular traffic a few days later, on July 16th, the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge became the largest cable-stayed bridge of its kind in North America and the tallest structure in S.C. Ten months later, participants of the Cooper River Bridge Run ran across the Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge for the first time.

 

 

For more information: A History of The Cooper River Bridge Run, Bridge Run website, Historical Markers List, Historical Markers Map, and Mount Pleasant Historical

 

Image Credit: Mount Pleasant Historical

 

 
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