Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Tag Tuesday - NADA, and a Story: Tale of Two Bridges, part 2

No Tag Tuesday today at Kard Krazy, Louise has some other obligations, but will have a challenge up for next Tuesday. In the meantime, here is another collage on tyvek with acrylic paint.

(click for detail)

I did another one to practice letting the paints flow into each other, which was the object of the lesson. This is actually not finished, but I am waiting for a template to come in the mail to complete it. When everything is finished, I'll put it on here for you to see!

With Apologies to Charles Dickens
(10th in the Tuesday Story series)

Last week I gave a brief history of the first bridge to cross the Cooper River in Charleston SC. In 1966, the Silas Pearman Bridge opened next to the Grace bridge, and immediately both bridges were locally referred to as the "New" Cooper River Bridge and the "Old" Cooper River Bridge. The Pearman bridge was built to help relieve the traffic congestion on the old bridge, and after it opened crossing the river on the Grace bridge was designated as off-limits to anything heavier than a dump truck. By this time, the Grace was 37 years old and the maintenance crews were having a hard time keeping up with the natural deterioration that takes place on a steel bridge. Rusty areas were a common sight and it creaked and groaned, especially in high wind. More than one Charleston resident would wonder aloud if the bridge would just collapse into the river one day. Yet it was still heavily used.

The Pearman bridge was designed with three 12 foot lanes, two bearing traffic from Charleston to Mt. Pleasant and the third lane was reversible. The explanation given for the reversible lane was that this design would help alleviate rush hour traffic. Above the lanes were lights: a green check for "Yes this lane is open for you to drive in your direction" or a red X for "No you don't - it's for the other direction". Well, it's almost surprising how many people did not look up at those bright lights. There were several head on collisions unfortunately, and finally the reversible lane became permanent. So now the bridge had two permanent lanes going north and one lane going south towards Charleston.

Here's a photo of the Pearman bridge before it was dismantled. Now, notice anything odd about it? There are no divisions between the south bound and north bound lanes! Many people continued to lose their lives in collisions on this bridge while officials frantically searched for a way to divide them safely. Nothing ever worked satisfactorily, and in my humble opinion, this was a very poor design from the beginning!

In 2005, The Ravenel Bridge was opened, and the other two bridges were taken down. The new bridge is lovely, and even has a separate lane for pedestrian traffic. It has 8 twelve foot lanes and is high enough for the largest ship heading to the ports to move under it with ease. It's a bridge whose time was long overdue, and it certainly makes things easier for those on both sides of the river. However, I do miss those silhouettes of the other bridges, once among the most immediate images of Charleston! For many my age, it's hard to think of Charleston any other way.

If you were wondering how the bridges were dismantled, this video 
will give you a quick hint!


  1. This is most interesting,we travel form N.C into S.C on vacations. I never knew the history so thanks for the info.
    hugs, Amy

  2. Ohhh, I love the collage! Such colors and textures! Really really nice! Love the article and love you!

  3. Hi Rebecca, The colors on your collage are just fantastic! Love it : )


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