The key to a cable stay bridge
is definitely the strength of its cables. The
Cooper River Bridge's 1546 foot main span is suspended
by 128 individual cables between the support piers.
Cables are anchored on the deck level and inside
of the diamond towers. Each cable can hold over
one million pounds or 500 tons.
A single cable is composed of
strands. A strand is composed of seven wires, six wires twisted around one center wire. Some
of the strongest cables on this bridge are formed
by 90 seven-wire strands. To protect the cables
from changing weather conditions they are in a poly-ethylene (HDPE) pipe. The
white pipes used on our bridge range in diameter
from 12 to 20 inches.