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December 1, 2004
Building the 14th cable bundle(west approach) and erecting the 14th edge girder (west channel side)

Yesterday Christopher and I were doing our usual James Island Connector noon run. Running along the connector toward MUSC we often look for any changes to the new Cooper River Bridge which can clearly be seen in the distance. Usually there is little change to see (we are probably 2 miles from the bridge), but yesterday was a surprise - you could identify new cable bundles being built from the curvature of newly erected cable sheaths - the 14th on the west side. So this morning (7am) I raced to the Aquarium to take a few photos and hoping that the workers had not completed the tensioning during the night. I was not disappointed. Here you can see the white sheaths with curvature, not fully tensioned. Check the Approach photos for more detail. By noon, the clouds cleared so I returned about 5pm to make a few more photos and discovered that they were erecting the 14th edge girder on the channel side of the west platform.


Where are the west-most hurricane cables? It seems that this set was temporary - to minimize lateral movement of the west deck until it could be connected to the west approach. Now that the approach has been attached these cables are no longer necessary. In addition, the counterweights are being removed since a balancing act is no longer required (thanks to David Wertz, SCDOT).

5pm: Erecting the 14th edge girder (if I counted correctly)

10 minutes later

A close look at the girder

I am often surprised by what I do not see. I was so focused on capturing the new cables and their curved sheaths that I completely missed the fact that the west-most hurricane cables are now absent. I only discovered this change when I was annotating this photo. Check out the photo below and you will see the west hurricane cables in place. Hmmm - wonder what this is all about?

December 1, 2004
Building the 14th (2 more to go) cables on the west end of the plagform (the first of the triple anchor girder).

West Approach

East Approach

West Approach:
East Approach:

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Attribution: C. Frank Starmer from