2 votes

John P. Grace Memorial Bridge


Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record

View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #126028


Grace Memorial Bridge

2005 Demolition

suspended center span dropped into the river


Written by Nick Brnot

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


Lost cantilevered truss bridge over the Cooper River on US 17
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina
Replaced by Arthur J Ravenel Bridge in 2005
Grace bridge built in 1928
- Virginia Bridge & Iron Co. of Roanoke, Virginia [also known as Virginia Bridge Co.]
- Waddell & Hardesty of New York, New York (Design)
Cantilevered Warren through truss
Length of largest span: 900.6 ft.
Total length: 10,218.0 ft. (1.9 mi.)
Deck width: 20.0 ft.
Also called
Old Cooper River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+32.80358, -79.91735   (decimal degrees)
32°48'13" N, 79°55'02" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
17/601362/3630030 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
SC 0102001730900 (South Carolina bridge number)
BH 37631 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 1, 2021: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • May 14, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • May 9, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • April 29, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • April 2, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • February 25, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • January 25, 2019: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • August 3, 2018: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • June 24, 2018: New photo from Mike Daffron
  • November 2, 2017: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • August 10, 2017: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • August 9, 2017: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • June 3, 2017: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • January 21, 2016: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • December 29, 2015: New photo from Andrew Penik
  • August 27, 2015: New video from Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • June 22, 2015: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added designer.
  • April 7, 2015: Photo imported by Dave King
  • June 4, 2013: New photo from M. D. Caillet
  • November 28, 2010: Updated by Nick Brnot: Edited status description, added city
  • May 25, 2010: Essay added by Nick Brnot
  • October 15, 2008: Added by Kim Harvey

Related Bridges 


  • Kim Harvey
  • HAER SC-32 - Grace Memorial Bridge, U.S. Highway 17 spanning Cooper River & Town Creek, Charleston, Charleston County, SC
  • Wikipedia
  • Nathan Holth
  • Alexander D. Mitchell IV
  • Mike Daffron - daffmikron [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


John P. Grace Memorial Bridge
Posted May 9, 2012, by Robert L. Stephens (tylerhotel [at] hotmail [dot] com)

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.

John P. Grace Memorial Bridge
Posted February 14, 2012, by Adrienne Boland (adrienneboland [at] yahoo [dot] com)

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.

Grace Memorial Bridge
Posted November 17, 2009, by Matthew Lohry (mmlohry [at] comcast [dot] net)

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.