Johnnie Dodds Boulevard - A Bridge Like No Other

Johnnie Dodds Boulevard - A Bridge Like No Other

Vertical Pilasters Spaced with a Rectangular Raised Surface Finish Between
Reinforced Earth Product in Field
Mt. Pleasant, SC
City of Mt. Pleasant
Banks Construction / United Contractors - JV
Sanitary Plumbing Contractors


Johnnie Dodds Boulevard

A Bridge Like No Other


Location: Mt. Pleasant, SC

Mount Pleasant, SC has a reputation as an urban coastal destination with real community spirit.  It is these qualities that have contributed to its population growth over the last 40 years.  This growth led to increased congestion in and around the city and therefore after years of planning and feedback from residents, Charleston County and the City of Mt. Pleasant leaders decided that one of the highest priorities in the area was to improve US 17 (known locally as Johnnie Dodds Boulevard) through Mt. Pleasant. The improvement project includes adding two extra lanes to Johnnie Dodds Boulevard, making it a six-lane expressway and alleviating the bottleneck at the bottom of the Arthur Ravenel Bridge as you first enter Mount Pleasant.

The selected design for this project included changing an “at-grade” intersection at Bowman Road to a US 17 flyover bridge. The most economical design, given the right-of-way restrictions, was a single span bridge with U-shaped MSE walls.  Project design consultant HDR, Inc. and the city leaders of Mount Pleasant worked closely together to fashion a unique architectural design for the MSE walls not seen anywhere else in the state.  This distinctive design incorporated vertical pilasters evenly spaced along the walls, with a rectangular raised surface finish between them.  The traffic barrier atop the walls and along the bridge incorporated complementary surface treatments as well.  The walls and traffic barriers were stained two different colors to accentuate the architectural features.  The completed look was topped off with attractive lighting fixtures and a large precast monument at each corner of the bridge.

The project was awarded to a joint venture of Banks Construction of North Charleston, SC and United Contractors, LLC of Great Falls, SC. The joint venture selected Sanitary Plumbing Contractors, Inc. (SPC) of Simpsonville, SC to construct the MSE walls and The Reinforced Earth Company (RECo) to design and supply the walls. Representatives of RECo attended a series of meetings with the joint venture, their designer, KCI Technologies (formerly Triplett-King & Associates) of Rock Hill, SC and HDR, Inc. The purpose was to design the most economical way to achieve the look desired by the City of Mt. Pleasant, based on the architectural renderings that were supplied in the bid documents. Through the series of meetings, RECo developed a design of the walls that was accepted by the owner, and fit within the budget established by the joint venture. RECo was able to precast all of the components, including the vertical pilasters and traffic barrier atop the walls. This required a true team effort from all involved, including Fast Formliners, the form liner manufacturer and Helser Industries, the form manufacturer, as well as all of the various departments at RECo.

SPC began wall construction in July of 2011 and completed wall construction in spring, 2012. They did a magnificent job of maintaining the architectural integrity of each of the components of the project during construction. The bridge is now open to traffic and things are moving much more smoothly through Mount Pleasant these days, especially over a bridge that “doesn’t look like all of the others”. The City of Mount Pleasant has created a corridor that the residents can be proud of for many years to come.