Charleston's landmark Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge over the Cooper River carries with it some impressive statistics that help explain why it was High Steel's largest job ever. In addition to being the largest public works project in South Carolina history, the 3.5-mile, eight-lane span of graceful white steel is also the longest cable-stay bridge in North America.
High Steel delivered on its $58 million contract by fabricating, inspecting, coating and delivering 38,000 tons of steel, a total of 6,194 pieces that included massive 40-ton girders and shark-fin-shaped anchors that hold the bridge's cables in place. High's work on this design-build project began in 2001 and included refinement of the bridge design, a new method for cutting the steel components with extreme accuracy, and some one-of-a-kind fabrication techniques.
The new bridge replaced two obsolete bridges, the Grace Memorial Bridge and the Pearman Bridge, allowing modern container ships to pass through into the Charleston Harbor, one of the country's largest ports.
The bridge opened to the public a year ahead of schedule on July 16, 2005.
Bridge Type: Cable Stay
Steel Tonnage: 38,000 tons
Steel Type: Grade 50 and Grade 70
Project Owner: South Carolina DOT
Contractor: Palmetto Bridge Constructors (JV of Tidewater Skanska, Inc. and Flatiron Constructors, Inc.)
Designer: Parsons Brinckerhoff
Detailer: Main Span - Tensor Engineering, Approach Spans - High Steel Structures Inc.
Steel Fabricator: High Steel Structures LLC
Steel Erector: Palmetto Bridge Constructors