Grace Memorial Bridge – Charleston, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Charleston County Photos | Grace Memorial Bridge
The Grace Bridge was named after Charleston native John Grace, who was a major force behind its construction. After 17 months of construction, the bridge opened in August 1929. Charleston citizens celebrated for three days! As time passed and traffic grew heavy, the need for another bridge became apparent. In 1966 a three-lane twin of the Grace Bridge was opened, dedicated in honor of the Chief Highway Commissioner, Silas N. Pearman.
However, by the 1990s, these bridges were outdated for modern times. The Grace Bridge was deemed structurally obsolete and the Pearman Bridge was struggling to handle the heavy traffic between Charleston and Mount Pleasant. Charleston native Arthur Ravenel spearheaded the campaign for a new bridge to be constructed over the Cooper River, replacing the Grace and Pearman.
The Arthur Ravenel Bridge opened during a week-long celebration in July 2005. It is an eight-lane, cable-stayed bridge with two diamond shaped towers that allow clearance for modern ocean freighters to access the Port of Charleston.
Chuck Boyd of Charleston contributed this picture of his grandmother posing in front of the Grace Memorial Bridge in 1928.
He writes: “My grandmother, Alyce May Boyd, is shown primly ‘dressed to the nines,’ standing amid construction on the Charleston side of the John P. Grace Memorial Bridge. She ran a boarding house downtown and construction workers who were staying there escorted her to the bridge – note the tracks used to haul steel up the bridge.”
See more of Chuck Boyd’s pictures and read his blog.
Learn more about the history of the Cooper River Bridges.
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