Historical Marker Series — The Gervais Street Bridge

The Gervais Street Bridge | Photo via @mandymac385

Today we will go on a journey over the river for this month’s winning historical marker series pick. Out of 286 votes, 48% of readers selected the historic Gervais Street Bridge

It’s one of the most iconic backdrops for photos, the location of a popular dinner event, and connects downtown to West Columbia. Let’s bridge the gap from when the Gervais Street Bridge was first built to now. 

Records show the first bridge was built in 1827 and was called the Congaree Bridge at Gervais Street. It was a covered, wooden structure that stood until 1865 when the structure was damaged in a fire.

Did you know that at the time in the 1920s it was South Carolina’s widest roadway

Now the bridge is publicly owned by Richland and Lexington counties. The structure was considered unique for it’s time because of the reinforced concrete and spandrel arches

Today, it is 1 of 4 open, spandrel arch bridges in South Carolina and 1 of 3 bridges that cross the Congaree River

Let’s break it down by the numbers: 

🌉 The rebuilt bridge cost an estimated $597,167 to construct, which would be a whopping $9,414,303 in 2021

🌉 The current bridge is 1,415 feet long. 

🌉 The structure is made of 1.5 million pounds of reinforcing steel

🌉 There is 52 million pounds of concrete.

🌉 The iconic arches are 132-feet and supported by 10 concrete piers

All of that equals one of the best photo backdrops for the capital city. Am I right? 


Learn more about the Gervais Street Bridge from COLAtoday reader Paul A.’s article

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