Gervais Street Bridge

Gervais Street between Gist St. Columbia & Carpenter Street, West Columbia, SC


Gervais Street Bridge

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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One of four open spandrel arch bridges of reinforced concrete in South Carolina, the Gervais Street Bridge spans the Congaree River and links Columbia to the western and southern parts of the state. At the time of its construction, begun in February 1926 and completed in June 1928, the bridge had the widest roadway in the state. From 1928 until 1953, the Gervais Street Bridge was the only Columbia Congaree River bridge and is the earliest and most decorative of the three bridges that now cross the river. The site historically has served bridges and ferries. Ferry service was first replaced about 1791 by a toll bridge. A subsequent wooden bridge completed about 1827 was burned in 1865 to delay General W. T. Sherman’s army. The rebuilt bridge was privately owned until 1912 when it was purchased by Richland County in cooperation with Lexington County. The 1415-foot reinforced concrete bridge was constructed by Hardaway Contracting Company of Columbus, Georgia. It cost $597,167 to construct. The bridge was designed by Joseph W. Barnwell of Charleston, bridge engineer for the State Highway Department. Above the flanking balustrades on the bridge are cast iron light fixtures. The decorative fixtures have the letter C and a palmetto on the bases, a vine pattern on the eight-sided post, and an acanthus leaf design on the necking. Listed in the National Register November 25, 1980. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on November 25, 1980
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Reinforced Concrete Bridge
Areas of significance
Engineering; Transportation; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant years
1926; 1928

Update Log 

  • October 14, 2014: Added by Michael Miller