Skip to comments.Cooper River Bridge Opening (Charleston, SC)
Posted on 05/07/2005 12:32:15 PM PDT by SC Swamp Fox
Charleston, SC - It's still unclear when the new Cooper River Bridge in Charleston will open.
Officials are having difficulty getting the 632 million dollar bridge paved. It takes just the right combination of temperature, humidity and wind to allow workers to put a two-inch concrete roadway layer over the 15-hundred-46-foot main span of the bridge linking Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
Project manager Charles Dwyer with the Transportation Department says some days they get the right temperature and wind, but the humidity is too low. Only about one-third of the main span has been paved so far.
Awesome piece of engineering and a beautiful piece of art too.
Take your time, but get it right.
Just scroll down. (Broadband recommended.)
The old, old bridge had an astronomical pucker factor.
It also had a tendency to "drift" downstream.
That said, El Cid cadets will now have a better chance of making it back from leave before Taps.
I didn't take the pictures. I read the text only story about the bridge being 99% done and just did a google search for the pictures.
That is a beautiful bridge - I had no idea concrete was so tempermental - good job of them to wait and get it done correctly!
Great pics any way. I have buddy I met in Florence when my nephew was playing at Camden. He is retired Navy I think. I haven't talked to him in a year or so.
He has a very pretty daughter that is going to Francis Marion University.
How sad. I really loved the old bridges. Especially since they drove my ex wife crazy when we crossed them. I always felt so bad for her when she felt ill going across them, but since her pulling the trigger on our marriage, that compasion has changed to a fond memorie of the faint look on her face as we crossed on the old bridges.
Very true. The first time I ever rode over the old, old bridge (before the 'new' bridge was even in existence), it was the experience of a lifetime. Then, the first time I drove over it, was another memorable experience. Although the 'newest' bridge is beautiful, and I understand its need, the two older bridges will be missed, at least by me.
The first time I ever visited Charleston and had to go to Mount Pleasant, I made the serious mistake of driving over the older of the two bridges, the two-lane one.
Never. Freaking. AGAIN.
Every time after that, I always made sure I'd end up on the three-lane bridge, no matter what traffic gyrations I had to do to do it!
It isn't so bad now that both lanes travel in the same direction, it was a hair-raiser when it was two-way, especially when a big truck was coming at you.
Yeah, those were the good old days, ha ha.
I also remember the old bridge in Vicksburg that crossed the Mississippi into Louisianna, it was very narrow & long. They replaced it about 30 years ago. It was very scary too.
My first trip was when I was about 8 years old. I remember my Dad turning the corner and we looked straight up - unbelievable. Then, one lane each way, with a small cable on the right between us and the river below was very scary. And the lanes were VERY narrow!.
I was 19, on leave from the Navy and driving down to visit two of my best friends. (One at Charleston AFB, one at the Citadel.) I decided to take the scenic route down US-17 and had no idea what I was getting into. What should have been an 8 hour drive from Norfolk turned into a 12 hour one, capped off at the end with a white-knuckle, bladder-cramping drive over that bridge. My '72 Grand Prix filled the right lane...semi trucks to the left of me, a couple of steel cables and certain death to the right of me. I got really drunk that night.
No kidding. My wife and I were coming back into Charleston from the Isle of Palms, and we wound up on the old bridge...it took her three hours to pry my hands off the steering wheel when we got back to our hotel room. Next time in town, I thought I had it figured out: we'd take the I-526 bridge (several miles to the north). Great ride out, but coming back, we got caught in an ultra-violent thunderstorm that I thought was going to blow us off the bridge. Can't win.
My ex HATES the 'old bridge' - goes out of her way to use the new bridge - so silly.
The new bridge is beautiful! 8 lanes!?!?! Concrete 2 inches thick!?!?! Yikes!!!
What was the deal? I don't understand why any 'pucker' factor, were they that rickety?
It was narrow, steep, long and high. There was nothing between you and a long drop to the water except a few steel cables. Until they built the newer "old" bridge, it had opposing traffic with nothing but a paint stripe separating you and the oncoming 18 wheelers. It didn't get much better once it became two lanes, south-bound only.
I agree. The kid in me always loves the rush and clatter of the old birdges. My wife is always terrified because she must watch the road for both of us. =)
It'll be nice to have a little more space to breathe.
May be this will give you a better idea of what it is like. It was built in 1939.
WOW. That's awesome.
I used to drive like a maniac in my Mustang on the old bridge; just thinking about it gives me chills..LOL.
Great view, too, when up on those bridges, The harbor, docks, Drum Island, Castle Pinckney, that abandoned 1900's yacht on the Mt Pleasant side, the Yorktown, Ft Sumter, you name it.
By the 1960's, muscle cars and larger semi tractor trailers were the norm and the lanes had about two inches of "extra" room per lane.
The wind was always blowing, so you almost had to treat your car like an airplane and set the trim for the prevailing winds, then a larger truck would come by and disrupt the airflow and cause your car to either "shift" into the oncoming traffic or hit the outer ledge of concrete, all of three inches high and two inches wide, just under the guardrails. The guardrails were also 1/4 inch thick angle iron.
It was like riding a roller coaster in a high wind while standing on the seat. As small children, my brother and I would close our eyes when Dad drove over it on numerous family trips to Charleston.
It didn't help matters any when a columnist for the Charleston News and Courier, nom de plume of Ashley Cooper, noted in his column that a new bridge was going to be necessary as the old one was drifting down river about an inch or two a year.
I'll be in Charleston next Thursday and will check it out.
Reservations made for A.W. Shucks seafood.
My son was stationed at the Navy Nuclear training school for almost a year. We loved the Charleston area, even the downtown. Sure spots are rough. But that's the case in any town. We had a great time and never packed a gun.
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