Classic Crossing

The oldest functioning bridge in the city of #Charleston is the Ashley River Memorial Bridge, completed in 1922 in honor of local veterans who fought in World War I. The Ashley had been spanned as earlier as 1807, but its early bridges had lots of bad luck, with the initial bridge burned during the Civil War, and an 1880’s replacement that was struck by boats so many times, the Corps of Engineers listed it as a hazard to navigation. The 1922 bridge was the first really modern bridge in Charleston, with bascules that could be raised for ships to pass, a much better arrangement than its swing bridge predecessor. But alas, the new bridge continued the bad luck tradition, and was struck by a ship in 1956, twisting the west bascule so badly that it took weeks before it could be lowered and the bridge reopened for traffic. These days, I prefer boating beneath the old structure rather than driving across – it still has the classic look of the tower cupolas, and it seems safer from the water. <img.src=”Charleston Curiosities” alt=”Ashley River Memorial Bridge”

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