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Building the Bridge


Building the new Cooper River Bridge would not have been possible without the building of partnerships. From addressing the need to replace the Grace and Pearman bridges to finding the resources to pay for South Carolina's largest single infrastructure project, partnerships were developed across the Cooper River, across Charleston County, across South Carolina, and across the United States. Partnerships were not stopped there; finding the best firms to design and build the bridge built partnerships across the world and even some just down the street.

Design/Build Services were provided by Palmetto Bridge Constructors, a joint venture of Tidewater Skanska, Inc. and Flatiron Constructors Inc. Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade and Douglas provided the design services.

Tidewater Skanska was founded in 1932 in Norfolk, Virginia as a marine and pile driving construction firm. Tidewater Skanska has earned a substantial reputation as a builder of bridges and marine facilities; they were even called in to rebuild the Grace Bridge in 1942, when it was damaged by the Nicaragua Victory. Tidewater Skanska's parent company, Skanska USA, Inc. was ranked as the third largest contractor in the US by Engineering News Record (ENR) in their May 2004 magazine, the number one International Contractor (Skanska AB) in ENR's 2004 top 225, and the fourth largest Transportation Constructor in ENR's 2002 Contractors Sourcebook.

Flatiron Constructors grew to national prominence from a small construction firm in Longmont, Colorado. Flatiron Constructors also worked with SCDOT and Tidewater Skanska on the Carolina Bays Parkway in Myrtle Beach, SC. Flatiron Constructors is a subsidiary of Royal BAM Group company. Royal BAM Group provides Flatiron clients and partners with the additional confidence that comes from the resources, skills, experience, and financial backing of a global construction group. Royal Bam Group is ranked ninth by Engineering News Record in their 2004 list of the top international contractors.

Parsons Brinckerhoff (PB) was the lead bridge designer on the project. They designed the main span unit which, since completed, is the longest cable-stayed main span in North America. Transportation has been the cornerstone of PB since its founder, William Barclay Parsons was chief engineer for the original New York subway. Acknowledged as one of the world's leading transportation engineering firms, PB has garnered numerous awards, yielded several industry "firsts", and published guides which have set the standards for their profession.

To assist SCDOT and FHWA in managing such a large infrastructure, design review and construction engineering/inspection services were provided by TYLI/HDR, a Joint Venture.

Founded in 1954, T.Y. Lin International is an internationally recognized, multi-disciplined civil and structural engineering firm. It is committed to providing innovative, cost-effective, constructible designs for the global transportation infrastructure market. With more than 700 employees working in offices throughout the United States and Asia, the firm is able to provide support on projects of varying size and complexity.

Founded in 1917, Omaha, Neb.-based HDR is one of the largest U.S. employee-owned firms providing architecture, engineering and consulting services. HDR employs more than 3,000 architects, engineers, scientists, planners and other professionals in more than 70 cities worldwide.

Just as many firms worked together to provide design/build and construction engineering/inspection services for the new bridge, paying for these services has brought together several different funding partners unified by their desire to build a signature bridge with a 100 year lifespan. The bridge's funding partners included the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank, the Federal Highway Administration, the South Carolina Department of Transportation, Charleston County, and the South Carolina State Ports Authority.

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT)

Federal Highway Administration

Tidewater/Skanska Logo

Flatiron Structures Company Logo

Palmetto Bridge Constructors logo

HDR Logo

TY-LIN International

Parsons Brinckherhoff