WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff served as lead design firm to the joint venture team that constructed the US$531 million, cable-stayed Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina (USA).
Replacing two obsolete Cooper River bridges, the bridge has a main span of 1,545 feet (470 metres)—the longest cable-stayed span in the Western Hemisphere. In addition to eight traffic lanes, the bridge features a pedestrian walkway/bikeway providing a magnificent view of the surrounding area. The project also included two extensive roadway interchanges connecting historic Charleston to the town of Mount Pleasant.
The structure features two visually striking diamond-shaped concrete towers that are protected from ship collision by large rock islands. The towers are 573 feet (175 metres) high from water line to their tops. Approximately 8,000-foot-long (2,440-metre-long) high-level approach spans utilize composite steel girders and reinforced concrete piers. The structure was also designed for hurricane wind forces. The entire main line structure includes the main cable-stayed structure and approaches totalling approximately 13,200 feet (4,000 metres). The bridge opened to traffic on July 16, 2005, one year ahead of schedule. Among its many awards, the bridge received the 2006 Federal Highway Administration Excellence in Highway Design Award, citing that “its innovative structure engineering solutions were matched by an emphasis on environmental stewardship, including special protection of the habitats of loggerhead sea turtles.”