August 8,1928- Grace bridge built at a cost of $6 million
1946-50 cent toll removed
-240 feet of bridge rammed down by freighter
1959- Bridge widened
1966- Companion bridge, the Silas S Pearman Bridge, is built parallel to the Grace span
1979-New lane added to Charleston approach
- Declared obsolete
2001- Construction of the Arthur J Rvenal bridge begans
July 16, 2005- Old bridges close, new bridge opens
- Demolition of Grace and Pearman spans begins
2007- Demolition of old bridges completed
I made only one round-trip across these bridges, in 1977. They were beautiful in their construction, but scary to cross. The road was very narrow, with the feeling of being enclosed in a massive steel cage. The worse thing was how peaked they were, causing one to lose sight of the road ahead as the top was approached. One drove over the peak without being able to tell what was ahead. There could have been a stalled car or accident and it could not be seen until starting down again.
Ah yes, the lovely Grace Bridge. My uncle would crawl as far in to the floorboard of the car as he could every time we crossed this one! One of my all time favorites.
When I was in the service in the mid 1990's, I had what turned out to be the once-in-a-lifetime chance to cross these beautiful and historic bridges. The older of the two was a lot of fun to drive across because of its narrowness and the massive amount of metal that surrounded me as I made my way across. It was a sad day for me to see these structures go down to make way for a single cable-stayed bridge (which I have no desire to see or cross), as these "wire slabs" are becoming the demise of our historic cantilever bridges nationwide. Sigh.