Essay

10 Highest Bridges in South Carolina

Because the sabal palmetto is the state tree of South Carolina, the state is known as “The Palmetto State.” In actuality, palmetto trees provided the wood needed to construct forts during the American Revolution. It was the perfect material because of its soft texture, which absorbed incoming cannonball fire! As the eighth state in the union, South Carolina was admitted in 1788. This area is home to a variety of wildlife, such as eastern narrow-mouth toads, gopher tortoises, Carolina chickadees, river otters, wild pigs, and the state bird, the Carolina wren. Additionally, there are a few native species found here, such as southern magnolias, yellow jessamine, the state flower, and loblolly pines.

The 10 Highest Bridges in South Carolina

The state is covered in more than 9,000 bridges of all sizes and styles. Find out more about the top ten bridges in South Carolina as well as more fascinating information about them!

Wappoo Creek Bridge – 30 feet

Thirty feet over Wappoo Creek, the Wappoo Bridge connects Charleston and James Island. On the other hand, the Burnet R. Maybank Memorial Bridge is its official name. The Intercoastal Waterway’s swing bridge was replaced in 1956 with a bascule span design that allows boat navigation.

While the bridge honours former Charleston mayor Rhett Maybeck, the creek honours native Wappoo Indians. In addition, he held the positions of United States Senator and Governor of South Carolina. Wappoo Creek Bridge is a historically significant location, in fact. For instance, during the Civil War, this is where Fort Pemberton was built on the James Island side of the creek. As a result, it kept the island safe from invasion from the north.

General William C. Westmoreland Bridge – 35 feet

With two lanes in each direction and a length of 3,907 feet, this twin-span bridge links North Charleston and the West Ashley neighbourhood of Charleston. It covered wetlands and the Ashley River when it first opened in 1980. named in honour of General William C. Westmoreland, a native of South Carolina who fought in the Vietnam War and attended West Point.

James B. Edwards Bridge (Wando River Bridge) – 55 feet

This 7,900-foot bridge, which connects Daniel Island and Mount Pleasant, spans the Wando River. It has six lanes, two 44-foot-wide bridges, and was built in 1990. Two pre-cast, post-tensioned concrete box girders are used into the bridge design. Particularly, this 34 million dollar design lessens its influence on the marsh areas near the riverbanks. named in honour of James Edwards, the governor of South Carolina and the former secretary of energy. Another name for it is Wando River Bridge.

John F. Limehouse Memorial Bridge – 65 feet

A low-level swing-style bridge spanning the Stonos River was replaced by the current bridge when it opened in 2003. It crosses the channel between St. Andrew’s Parish and Johns Island and is situated 15 miles west of Charleston. It is 65 feet above the ocean and 2,800 feet long.

Isle of Palms Connector Bridge – 65 feet

This 11,703-foot long bridge, which spans the Intercoastal Waterway, was opened in 1993 and has a 65-foot clearance below. Constructed with a stringer/multi-beam or girder design, this 54-foot-wide bridge links Mount Pleasant with the Isle of Palms. Dedicated in honour of a Charleston businessman who was a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives, the Clyde Moultrie Dangerfield Highway.

Stono River Bridge (Paul Gelegotis Bridge) – 65 feet

The Stono River Bridge in Charleston crosses the Stono River to link with the Johns and James Islands. This bridge, which cost about 41 million dollars to build, opened for traffic in 2003. It is 7,300 feet long and has four lanes, bicycle lanes and sidewalks. It is named for James Island politician and businessman Paul Gelegotis. Since he established the state’s Emergency Medical System, Gelegotis is rightfully referred to as the “Father of EMS.” Additionally, one of the first anti-slavery rebellions in American history took place here in 1739 with the Stonos Rebellion.

James Edwin McTeer Bridge – 65 feet

This bridge was first completed in the 1980s, and the state of South Carolina views it as a picturesque roadway. The 77 million dollar replacement bridge took the place of the outdated swing-span bridge in 2022. It is 3,000 feet long and rises 65 feet above the Beaufort River, which connects Lady’s Island with Port Royal.

McKinley Washington, Jr. Bridge (Dawhoo River Bridge) – 68 feet

The McKinley Washington, Jr. Bridge spans the Dawhoo River and links the Edisto Islands to mainland South Carolina. It opened in 1993 and was named for a previous politician who was a member of the House of Representatives. The bridge is 54 feet wide, 68 feet above the sea, and 5,584 feet long with 97 spans using a steel girder construction.

Don N. Holt Bridge – 155 feet

This bridge, which was built in 1992 and has a parallel chord, three-span continuous, modified Warren-type truss bridge design, is suspended 155 feet above the Cooper River. It links Daniel Island and Mount Pleasant to North Charleston. In fact, it is a primary route for locals to evacuate during hurricanes. The bridge is 27,065 feet long, 88 feet broad, and has six lanes. The bridge also pays tribute to Don Holt, a former member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge – 180 feet

When the bridge opened in 2005, it was the highest building in the state and the longest cable-stayed bridge in North America at the time! It was constructed over the course of five years, across the Cooper River. Its stunning pair of 600-foot towers give the skyline a dramatic touch. Standing 180 feet above the river, it features eight lanes as well as Wonders’ Way, a 12-foot-wide pedestrian and cycling lane named for Garrett Wonders, who died in a bicycle-auto collision.

The bridge, which spans from Charleston to the villages of Mount Pleasant, is built to withstand earthquakes with a Richter scale of 7.4 and hurricane gusts exceeding 300 miles per hour. In order to keep drifting ships away from the bridge, it also contains one-acre rock islands on either side of the towers. Named for Charleston politician Arthur Ravenel Jr., it is roughly 13,123 feet long and cost 632 million dollars to build.

Highlights of the Highest Bridges in South Carolina

Name of the Bridge  Height Located
Wappoo Creek Bridge 30 feet Charleston/James Island
General William C. Westmoreland Bridge 35 feet Charleston/North Charleston
James B Edwards Bridge (Wando River Bridge) 55 feet Daniel Island/Mount Pleasant
John F. Limehouse Memorial Bridge 65 feet St. Andrew’s Parish/Johns Island
Isle of Palms Connector Bridge 65 feet Isle of Palms/Mount Pleasant
Stono River Bridge (Paul Gelegotis Bridge) 65 feet Charleston/Johns and James Islands
James Edwin McTeer Bridge 65 feet Lady’s Island/Port Royal
McKinley Washington, Jr. Bridge (Dawhoo River Bridge) 68 feet Mainland South Carolina/Edisto Islands
Don N. Holt Bridge 155 feet North Charleston/Mount Pleasant and Daniel Island
Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge 180 feet Charleston/Mount Pleasant towns