Congratulations! PDCA 2021 Project of the Year Winner

Editor: Ashley Steele

The US 21 Bridge in Beaufort County, South Carolina was built under the New Deal Program set up by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940's.  The swing-span bridge was built to put people to work during the Great Depression.  It is the only vehicular connection between the mainland of South Carolina and Harbor Island, Fripp Island, and Hunting Island.  However, the bridge had many safety concerns as well as rising maintenance costs.

The United Infrastructure Group (UIG) stepped in with a solution, the Harbor River Bridge Project.  The new 65-foot-high bridge will provide uninterrupted access for sailing and shrimping vessels along the river below and safer, wider lanes for motorists.  The new bridge has 12-foot-wide lanes and a 10-foot-wide shoulder.  This allows the ability to turn the bridge into a 4-lane emergency route during hurricane evacuations. 

When it came time to construct the bridge United Infrastructure Group decided to use 3 different types of driven pile.  To drive the piles in the river the company had to construct special barges in order to hold and maneuver the equipment.  They used 3 different ICE® Diesel Impact hammers on the 3 different pile types.  The ICE® 46v2 Diesel Hammer was used to drive the steel piles that created the end bents for the bridge and the fender system by driving the 20" PSC concrete piles. For the interior bents UIG used the ICE® 80v2 Diesel Hammer to drive 24" PSC concrete pilings.  14" timber piles were driven with the ICE® 19v2 Diesel Hammer to complete ground improvements.

Due to the proximity of many wildlife habitats, many different mitigating measures were instituted to protect local species.  The work had to be completed around oyster beds, sea turtle mating, sturgeons, and the endangered bald eagle's nests.  The diesel hammers had to be slowly ramped up during the span of the project to deter local marine species from the work area.  During sea turtle mating season, the job had to remain in complete darkness for 8 hours, so that the moon was visible for the turtles.  Throughout the project there were two separate hurricane scares, which required all equipment to be carefully secured to prevent any catastrophic damage to wildlife that may occur because of adverse weather conditions.

The new 3,353-foot Harbor River Bridge is a testament to ingenuity and design, overcoming many obstacles during its construction.  The Bridge opened to motorist on April 26, 2021, 2 months ahead of the scheduled completion date.

PDCA 2021 Project of the Year Publications

Media Contact-
Pollyanna Cunningham, MA, MBA 
Director Marketing, Brand and Media Relations 
ICE® - International Construction Equipment, Inc 
Office - 704-821-8200 
Email - 


Posted in Diesel Impact Pile Hammers. Tagged as Concrete Piles, Harbor Bridge, ICE 19v2 Diesel Hammer, ICE 80v2 Diesel Hammer, ICE I-46 Diesel Hammer.

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