The new Arthur Ravenel, Jr. Bridge in Charleston, S.C., has been recognized by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with the 2006 Excellence in Highway Design Award. Designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) on behalf of the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the bridge spans the Cooper River in Charleston.
The FHWA highway design awards program recognizes the best in today's roadway design. The 2006 award winners in 11 categories improve safety, project management and mobility while creatively enhancing their surrounding environment.
The Ravenel Bridge was the winner of an Excellence Award in the Major Highways Structures over $15 million category. The longest cable-stayed span bridge in North America, the eight-lane structure was completed a year ahead of schedule.
In citing the project the FHWA stated: "The striking bridge features a diamond shaped tower design that was selected by the public. Its innovative structure engineering solutions were matched by an emphasis on environmental stewardship, including special protection of the habitats of loggerhead sea turtles."
The Ravenel Bridge replaced two existing outdated truss bridges built in 1929 and 1966. With a main span length of 1,546 ft, the structure was designed to meet extreme ship collision, wind and earthquake conditions.
The project was one of the first major design-build bridge projects in the U.S. A joint venture of Tidewater Skanska and Flatiron Constructors, known as Palmetto Bridge Constructors, was awarded the design-build contract in 2001, with PB serving as the lead designer on the project.