JMT to lead the design of the U.S.’s first cable-stayed swing bridge for bicycle and pedestrian traffic in Charleston, SC.

The design-build team of Superior Construction and JMT broke ground on Oct. 30 on a historic project to provide a sustainable, resilient, and equitable connection over water to downtown Charleston, SC. When completed, the $72.6 million, 4,100 ft long bridge will be the first of its kind cable-stayed swing bridge for bicycle and pedestrian traffic in the United States.

The impetus for the bridge is twofold: connectivity and transportation equity. More than 63,000 cars cross the Ashley River every day on two parallel bridges with narrow sidewalks, which has resulted in numerous incidents involving pedestrians and vehicles. The project brings true choice of mobility to the corridor, allowing non-motorized users direct and safe access to and from downtown.

A key feature of the project is its signature main span with its V-shaped towers. In addition to creating a gateway for the corridor, the outwardly-canted towers reduce the risk of ice on cables falling onto the pedestrian path. The bobtail swing span employs a unique slewing ring and hydraulic cylinder mechanism to facilitate the opening of the structure for marine traffic. This cost-effective and maintenance-friendly system will be remotely operated from the adjacent bascule bridge control room.

Complementing the JMT engineering design team is a cadre of renowned infrastructure experts ready to collaborate toward an outstanding result. COWI will bring its complex bridge expertise to the main span superstructure. TranSystems is responsible for design of the operational components for the movable span, and ESP serves as the geotechnical engineer-of-record to aid in foundation design in Charleston’s high seismic zone. Rounding out the design team with niche project roles are LS3P (architecture/aesthetics), Seamon Whiteside (landscape architecture), and Mead & Hunt (public relations).

The design team, led by JMT, is proud to help deliver this important project to the City of Charleston, SCDOT, FHWA, and the citizens of the Lowcountry.

Click here to access the grant application to read more about the context of this landmark project.