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Project Profile: Cooper River Bridge Replacement

Cooper River Bridge Replacement (renamed the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge)

photo credit: Bridge Run Website


Charleston, South Carolina

Project Sponsor / Borrower

South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB)

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT)

Program Areas

Alternative Project DeliveryProject FinanceTIFIA




The Cooper River Bridge Replacement project replaced two functionally obsolete bridges - the Grace Memorial and Pearman Bridges - along US 17 over the Cooper River, connecting the cities of Charleston and Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The new Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge increased roadway capacity, improved safety, reduced the frequency and cost of major bridge maintenance, and increased the vertical and horizontal navigational clearances to accommodate the current needs of seafaring vessels on the river, including permitting modern cargo vessel passage to the Port of Charleston, the second largest container cargo port on the East Coast.


$675.2 million

Funding Sources

South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) Grant - $325 million (backed by motor fuel tax, truck registration fees, local taxes, tolls)

SCTIB Loan backed by TIFIA Loan - $215 million

Federal/state funding - $135.2 million

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner


  • Palmetto Bridge Constructors - Joint venture of Tidewater Skanska, Inc. and Flatiron Constructors Inc.
  • WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff
  • T.Y. Lin International/HDR (a joint venture)
Project Advisors / Consultants


  • TIFIA Legal Advisor - Nixon Peabody, LLP
  • TIFIA Financial Advisor - Montague DeRose and Associates, LLC

Bondholders, USDOT TIFIA

Duration / Status

The project opened to traffic on July 16, 2005.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

Direct Loan - $215 million

The loan was secured by two primary sources: (i) payments from SCDOT ($8 million per year for 25 years), and (ii) certain revenues from hospitality fees levied by Horry County as well as an intercept of State funds collected by the County, if needed.

Financial Status / Financial Performance

TIFIA credit agreement signed on July 11, 2001.

Refinancing completed on July 6, 2004.

USDOT and SCTIB terminated the loan agreement so SCTIB could issue new tax-exempt bonds backed by the revenues pledged to the TIFIA loan. The new bonds carry a lower interest rate than the TIFIA loan, the proceeds of which SCTIB had yet to draw.

This retirement of the TIFIA loan marked a successful milestone, as the Federal credit commitment in 2001 enabled project construction to get underway, to be replaced entirely by private investment after only three years.

  • Largest contract in SCDOT history
  • Part of SCDOT's innovative 27 in 7 Program
Related Links / Articles

Industry Project Profile from

FHWA Context Sensitive Solutions Case Study


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