Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge (also known as the Ravenel Bridge and the Cooper River Bridge) is a cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in South Carolina, connecting downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant.
The bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet (471 m). It was built using the design-build method and was designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff.
By the 1960s the Grace Memorial Bridge had become insufficient, with its two narrow 10-foot (3 m) lanes built for Ford Model As and its steep grades of up to 6 percent. Later changes to the side rail and curb reduced the lane width further.
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.
Due to his efforts in passing laws for the new bridge's funding, fellow lawmakers voted to name bridge the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge.
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