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Grand Opening Environment Building the Bridge

Grand Opening

The dedication and opening date for the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge was Saturday, July 16th, 2005.

The opening was preceded by a weeklong celebration marking the significance of this historical event. The celebratory events included two public opportunities to be on the bridge. The public was invited to come and explore the bridge by walking along some of it or all the way to the top. There was also a black tie celebration above the Cooper River, between the diamond towers on North America's longest cable stay span. There was wonderful food, cocktails, and music played by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. The proceeds contributed to the costs associated with the public events for the new bridge.

There was a grand, thirty-minute fireworks display across the Cooper River prior to the ceremonial first lighting of the bridge's cables the night of Thursday, July 14th.

Watch Live on Etv

Purchase videos of the grand opening and construction of the Ravenel and the history and demolition of the old bridges from SCETV. Go to and do a search for "Ravenel Bridge" or "Cooper River Bridge".

Picture of the New Cooper River Bridge

Charleston County Public Library

As generations age and years pass, the memories, photos and memorabilia of the Cooper River bridges and their impact on this community are slowly being lost. The Charleston County Public Library preserved these memories for future generations by collecting photos, programs, special documents and the individual memories of area residents.