Flatiron celebrates opening of two major transportation projects in the eastern United States
(Longmont, CO) July 7, 2005 – After four years of construction, the breathtaking new $541 million cable-stayed bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston, South Carolina will open to traffic on Saturday, July 16.
The new Cooper River Bridge, built by Palmetto Bridge Constructors — a joint venture of Flatiron Constructors and Tidewater Skanska — is a major landmark for the area, connecting historic downtown Charleston with Mt. Pleasant. Flatiron will also celebrate the opening to traffic of the new Knightdale Bypass in North Carolina.
The new Cooper River Bridge has a main span of 1,546 feet supported by two 570-foot-tall towers visible from 30 miles away. One-hundred-twenty-eight cable stays suspend the structural steel girders and precast concrete deck panels.
The new Cooper River Bridge opens to traffic Saturday, July 16.
The new bridge will replace the older John P. Grace Memorial Bridge and the Silas N. Pearman Bridge, built in 1929 and 1966 respectively, and has been designed to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes and ship impacts. The Pearman Bridge was damaged by a 10,000-ton freighter when in 1946 the ship, dragging it anchors, crashed into one of the piers and smashed a 240-foot section of the superstructure.
The new bridge towers have been designed to sustain impacts like this. Each tower is protected by a manmade rock island. Palmetto Bridge Constructors placed 531,000 tons of quarry stone and 167,000 tons of armor stone to form a protective barrier around each of the towers, and 11 drilled shafts penetrate 200 feet down through each of the main footings.
A week-long celebration beginning July 9 will commemorate this historic event, with a run/walk open to the public (July 9 and 10), a fireworks display and a ceremonial illumination of the cables (July 14), and the official opening on the main span deck (July 16).
Flatiron also completed construction for the new Knightdale Bypass, providing commuters with a safer and faster route along Eastern Wake County’s new US Highway 64 near Raleigh, North Carolina. The new 11-mile 6-lane bypass connects US 64 in the east with the I-440 Beltline in the west, bypassing traffic congestion in Knightdale
The new 11-mile Knightdale Bypass will open to traffic on Friday, July 8.
North Carolina Constructors, the joint venture construction team led by Flatiron Constructors, completed the project one month ahead of schedule, with opening ceremonies for scheduled for Friday, July 8.
Flatiron Constructors is the Colorado-based subsidiary of Flatiron Construction Corp., a Royal BAM Group company. Flatiron specializes in transportation and heavy civil projects both on a national scale and in local districts. Its experience encompasses major highways, traditional and specialty bridges, toll roads, tunnels and light rail transit projects throughout the United States. Flatiron is consistently ranked among the top bridge and highway builders in North America.