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"C" is for Cooper River Bridges

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio
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"C" is for Cooper River bridges. In 1927, a group of Charleston businessmen formed the Cooper River Bridge Company to promote the construction of a span linking Charleston with Mount Pleasant. With financing from northern investors, the bridge was completed in 1929. At the time, it was the longest span of its type in the world—2.7 miles long and 20 feet wide. In 1943 it was named for former Charleston mayor John P. Grace. Tolls did not cover construction costs, so in 1944 the City of Charleston purchased the bridge and eventually abolished tolls. By the 1960s, the two-lane roadway was totally inadequate for the growing population. A new three-lane bridge, the Silas N. Pearman, opened in 1966. In 2005, a new, eight-lane, single span bridge- named for former state senator Arthur Ravenel—opened.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.