There are some things that everyone should do when they visit a place; often times people wouldn’t consider walking across a bridge as one of these things. However the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge connecting Charleston South Carolina proper to its adjacent suburb of Mount Pleasant may be an exception. Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge crosses the Cooper River and is a lovely bridge to look at. But what’s the story of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge? What is it’s history? And where else can visitors to Charleston go when they’ve crossed the bridge on foot?
The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is named for Arthur Ravenel Jr. Ravenel was born in 1927, was a native of Charleston, and did a lot for the city of Charleston. From the plaque which is at the bridge, “…US Marine, graduate of the College of Charleston, successful businessman, environmentalist, SC House of Representatives 1953-1958, SC Senate 1981-1986, US Congress 1987-1994, SC Senate 1997-2004.” So the guy did a lot for Charleston and was a Charleston boy through and through.
The bridge was named for him “by an Act of the General Assembly in honor of State Senator Arthur Ravenel, Jr. who enthusiastically spearheaded a broad-based effort to secure the funds for (the bridge’s) construction.” The bridge is heralded (1) as “North America’s longest cable stay span” suspension bridge. It has a “signature diamond-tower design…which features the latest in seismic constructions,” for folks who are still living in terror of the Great Charleston Earthquake (the great earthquake which locals still speak about like they were there happened before 1900).
The bridge is a two sided bridge with south bound traffic on one side and north bound traffic on the other side. One of the identifying characteristics of this bridge are the two parallel peaks in the bridge which rise high into the air much the same as the many steeples from the myriad of churches found in the “Holy City.” The bridge is also a pretty good length foot path and is at enough of an incline that it would be a good jog for the vacationing exerciser who doesn’t want to push it too much. There is also a bike path on the bridge where riders can cruise along. The view from the bridge is very lovely as there are often aircraft carriers docked below for nearby Fort Moultrie.
The Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park (2) is located below the bridge and offers various videos, concerts, and other activities for the visiting Charlestonian.