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
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