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U.S. Highway 17 - Southbound

U.S. 17 South
Side view of the button copy overhead for Business Spur Interstate 526 westbound (Chuck Dawley Boulevard) off-ramp of U.S. 17 (Johnnie Dodds Boulevard) southbound. U.S. 17 enters the city of Charleston (pop. 96,650) in approximately six miles. Photo taken 01/18/04.
A closer view of the original button copy guide signs at the U.S. 17 south and Business Spur Interstate 526 west overheads. Chuck Dawley Boulevard provides a five-lane surface boulevard between Johnnie Dodds Boulevard and South Carolina 703 (Coleman Boulevard). The connection allows motorists destined for Sullivan's Island (pop. 1,911) direct access to the Ben Sawyer Boulevard (South Carolina 703) causeway to the barrier island. Photo taken 01/18/04.
Business Spur Interstate 526 gore point sign at the U.S. 17 southbound off-ramp to Chuck Dawley Boulevard. U.S. 17 follows Johnnie Dodds Boulevard through Mount Pleasant to the John C. Grace and Silas Pearman Bridges. Construction is underway for a new eight-lane cable stayed bridge to carry U.S. 17 across the Cooper River and Towne Creek into Charleston. Upon completion of the bridge, U.S. 17 will utilize new approach ramps from Johnnie Dodds Boulevard to the crossing. Photo taken 01/18/04.
U.S. 17 ascends high above the Cooper River between Mount Pleasant and Drum Island via the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. The longest cable-stayed bridge in North America, the Ravenel Bridge opened to traffic on July 15, 2005. Photo taken 07/17/05.
Mid-span over the Cooper River on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge along U.S. 17 southbound. The span travels 186 feet above the shipping channel below, allowing for extremely large vessels to access the nearby Port of Charleston. Photo taken 07/17/05.
All cables lead skyward toward the second of the 576' tall towers. The Ravenel Bridge carries eight overall lanes and a pedestrian/bicycle path along the northbound side. Photo taken 07/17/05.
Traffic begins to descend toward Charleston over Drum Island and Town Creek. The first of three Charleston off-ramps serves Morrison Drive and Bay Street (U.S. 52 Spur) ahead. An auxiliary overhead directs motorists bound for the Port of Charleston onto Morrison Drive north and the South Carolina Aquarium via Bay Street southbound. Photo taken 07/17/05.
A parting shot of the John C. Grace and Silas Pearson Bridges over Town Creek from the Ravenel Bridge over Drum Island. The former spans of U.S. 17 await demolition following the opening of the Ravenel Bridge. Photo taken 07/17/05.
A large diagrammatical overhead advises motorists of the impending off-ramps to Meeting Street (downtown Charleston), Interstate 26 west to North Charleston, and the continuation of U.S. 17 south to St. Andrews and James Island. Photo taken 07/17/05.
The Bay Street and Morrison Drive off-ramp descends from U.S. 17 southbound into Charleston as the Ravenel Bridge approaches its interchange with Interstate 26. Bay Street and Morrison Drive are part of U.S. 52 Spur, a short federal highway between downtown Charleston and U.S. 52 (Meeting Street) to the northwest. Photo taken 07/17/05.
Direct access to U.S. 52 exists in the form of the Meeting Street off-ramp from U.S. 17 southbound. Meeting Street carries the federal highway north from the Charleston Visitor's Center and downtown to Carner Avenue in North Charleston. Photo taken 07/17/05.
U.S. 17 traffic partitions into southbound for James Island and Savannah and Interstate 26 westbound to North Charleston and Columbia. A high flyover carries Interstate 26 eastbound drivers onto the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge in the background. Interstate 26 parallels U.S. 52 and 78 northward to Goose Creek. Photo taken 07/17/05.
Turning southward along U.S. 17 parallel to the ending Interstate 26 freeway. The next off-ramp servers King Street (U.S. 78) and downtown Charleston. U.S. 17 otherwise curves westward ahead to rejoin its old alignment along the Septima Clark Expressway to the Spring & Cannon Streets en route to James Island and St. Andrews. Photo taken 07/17/05.
The split of U.S. 17 southbound with the westbound beginning of South Carolina 64 at Jacksonboro. The partition represents the end of the four-lane alignment of the Savannah Highway. South Carolina 64 travels 15 miles to Walterboro and 17 miles to Exit 57 of Interstate 95. The state highway continues from there to Barnwell (pop. 5,035). Photo taken 01/18/04.
Nearing the southern terminus of South Carolina 303 near Green Pond. South Carolina 303 travels northward 14 miles to U.S. 17 Alternate and the town of Walterboro (pop. 5,153). Photo taken 01/18/04.
U.S. 17 & 21 share a six mile overlap on Trask Parkway between Gardens Corner and Pocotaligo in Beaufort County. The tandem follow a divided four-lane alignment through Sheldon to the south end of U.S. 17 Alternate. Here U.S. 21 northbound departs for Yemassee (pop. 807) and Orangeburg (pop. 12,765). U.S. 17 Alternate parallels Interstate 95 between Yemassee and Walterboro. Photo taken 01/18/04.

A plethora of Interstate 95 & U.S. 17 shields are posted at the trumpet interchange of Exit 33 at Pocotaligo. U.S. 17 merges onto the freeway for an 11-mile overlap to Ridgeland. A frontage road parallels Interstate 95 on the southbound side between the two points. The two-lane roadway carries old U.S. 17. Photos taken 01/18/04.

U.S. 17 (Coastal Highway) southbound at the final South Carolina interchange of Interstate 95 southbound in Jasper County. The federal highway carries U.S. 321 traffic one half mile from the south end of the federal highway to the Exit 5 partial-cloverleaf interchange of Interstate 95 at Hardeeville (pop. 1,793). Photo taken 08/28/04
Interstate 95 southbound traffic departs U.S. 17 (Coastal Highway) for Brunswick, Georgia and Jacksonville, Florida. U.S. 17 continues southeast into downtown Savannah, Georgia via the high-level Talmadge Bridge. The northbound Interstate 95 on-ramp departs from the left ahead to Florence and Fayetteville, North Carolina. Photo taken 08/28/04

Sources:

  1. The Cooper River Bridge Site, South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT).
  2. "Bridge new chapter of Charleston history." The Charlotte Observer, July 17, 2005.
  3. "Massive Ravenel Bridge opens to traffic today." The Times and Democrat, July 18, 2005.

Page Updated July 19, 2005.