WSP 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.
Replacing two obsolete Cooper River bridges, the bridge has a main span of 1,545 feet —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 high from water line to their tops. Approximately 8,000-foot-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 totaling approximately 13,200 feet. The bridge opened to traffic on July 16, 2005, one year ahead of schedule.