Our Ashley Bridge Package Proposal

Three major bridge sets connect communities across the Ashley River within Charleston County:

  • the James Island Connector and Wappoo Cut Bridge
  • the pair of Memorial and Legare Bridges
  • the North Bridge to Cosgrove Avenue

None of these bridges are currently safe for people on bike or foot. In less than a decade, at least thirteen people have been injured or killed while walking or biking these bridges. As congestion and costs increase, we must have safe options for all modes of transportation.

As many designs have been studied and debated for these bridges for decades, the need for safe crossings only becomes more urgent. Citizens, business owners, and tourists alike want to travel safely between the peninsula, West Ashley, James Island and North Charleston without having to rely solely on motor vehicles. Job and housing security, as well as public safety, depends upon it.

The time to come together and work on all Ashley River crossings together is now. We are talking to elected officials about funding this vital package locally. Please help us by signing our petition, urging the City of Charleston, the City of North Charleston and Charleston County to work together to:

  • Construct a bicycle and pedestrian bridge immediately south of the existing Legare Bridge, building upon studies already compiled for the recent federal grant application;
  • Install simple retrofits to the James Island Connector to make the route safe for people on bikes (SCDOT has stated they will not allow pedestrians on the Connector). These retrofits could include lowering and enforcing the speed limit, installing rumble strips to delineate the breakdown lane, and installing signage to direct people on bikes from avoiding conflicts with motorists at exit ramps;
  • Complete an engineering study to determine the most effective way to retrofit the North Bridge for people on bike and foot. The County has conducted studies showing designs that will not work, so the solution has been narrowed down.


A safe Ashley River crossing for people on bikes and foot has been debated since the 1920s! In the 1980s, Mayor Riley began asserting that the problem should be solved. Real study began in 2010, with examination of a stand-alone bridge, a cantilevered bridge, and ultimately, conversion of the fourth lane for bicycles and pedestrians on the eastbound bridge (the Legare Bridge). The lane conversion on Legare was chosen as the best option, with the project lead being the City of Charleston, and the design included adding a left turn lane for motor vehicles where the bridge touches down at the intersection of Bee and Lockwood.

The Legare lane conversion project timeline went as follows:

  • Left turn lane groundbreaking (February 12, 2016)
  • Left turn lane installation (Completed April 1, 2016)
  • Lane closure test period (February 2 — Early May, 2016)
  • Charleston County releases test results (June 2016)
  • Charleston City Council re-affirms support (July 19, 2016)
  • Charleston County Council requests SCDOT weigh in on structural integrity of the bridge, 60-day deadline (September 20, 2016)

Charleston County Council officially voted to rescind support of the project on August 17, 2017, despite widespread public support (see map below), and at least three major bicycle crashes occurring during the year. The City of Charleston, as project lead, still supported the project, but was ultimately overridden by SCDOT.

Charleston Moves, Charleston County, the City of Charleston and project consultants convened to decide next steps. Consulting engineers asserted that the James Island Connector could not be cantilevered, and that the SCDOT would not allow pedestrians in the Connector’s breakdown lane. Project cost estimates of a stand-alone bridge adjacent to the Legare Bridge proved to be similar to a cantilevered design with a stand-alone portion along the bridge’s bascule (drawbridge). In October 2017, the City of Charleston and Charleston County approved matching funds ($1.5M and $3M, respectively) for a federal TIGER grant application to fund a stand-alone bike and pedestrian bridge. Charleston Moves helped gather support letters (totaling more than 80) and other documentation to assist with the application. Unfortunately, the grant was not approved.

In July 2018, the City of Charleston and Charleston County recommitted their matching funds for a new round of the federal grant application, now called the BUILD grant. Charleston Moves again assisted with support letters. For the second year, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) did not select the Ashley River Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge as a priority project for funding. The City of Charleston’s memo on the subject states: “Our next step will be to schedule time with the Government Affairs Office of USDOT and the staff who oversaw the BUILD grant review process to understand their decision making and further improve our next application.”

West Ashley is the City’s largest residential population, and the peninsula is the largest employment center. The route is identified as a priority in the West Ashley Plan, People Pedal CHS, Battery2Beach and the East Coast Greenway.



Official record of businesses and associations that support the Legare Bridge Bike & Pedestrian Lane

Advantage Media Group — Adam Witty, Founder & CEO

Affordabike — Daniel Russell-Einhorn, Founder & Owner

Alkyon Arts and Antiques — Kershaw LeClercq, Minority Partner

Archdale Square, LLC — Todd Beatty, Owner

Artist & Craftsman (Downtown & Uptown) — Camela Guevara, Assistant Manager

Ashley Hall Manor Neighborhood Association — Michael Allen, President

Austen & Gowder, LLC — W. Andrew Gowder, Jr., Partner, Shareholder

Basic Projects LLC — Ben Towill, Owner

Barber & Shave Shoppe — Brandy Baker, General Manager

BiblioBoard — Mitchell Davis, Founder & Chief Business Officer

Black Tap Coffee — Ross Jett, Owner

Blue Ion — Robert Prioleau, Partner

Blue Sky Endurance — Catherine Hollister, Founder & Owner

BoomTown — Grier Allen, CEO & President, Chris Rickborn, COO & Nina Magnesson, Catalyst, Citizenship & Social Innovation Initiatives

Byrnes Down Neighborhood Association — Heather Powers, President

Cannonborough-Elliotborough Neighborhood Association — Cator Sparks, Jenny Bevan & Mary Mac McFadden Wilson, Executive Committee

Catch Talent — Christina Lock, CEO & Chad Norman, Chief Marketing Officer

Charleston Bicycle Company — Artur Pacult, Owner & Jeff Slotkin, Manager

Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission — Tom O’Rourke, Executive Director

Charleston Parks Conservancy — Harry Lesesne, Executive Director

Charleston Moves — Katie Zimmerman, Executive Director

Charleston Women in Tech — Carolyn Finch, Executive Director

Coastal Climbing Gym — Kensie Whitfield, Owner

Coastal Power Clean — Kershaw LeClercq, Owner

Code One Training Solutions, LLC — Richard Shok, Owner & Director

Colony & Craft, LLC — Bradley Thompson, Broker in Charge

Cooper River Cycles — Gage Cooper, Owner & KC Hazelwood, Manager

CrowdReach — Trey Rust, President

D’Allesandro’s Pizza — Nick & Ben D’Allesandro, Owners

DIG SOUTH — Stanfield Gray, Founder & CEO & Sunny Gray, CFO

Distil Union — Lindsay Windham, Co-Founder & Art Director

Duckworth Creative LLC — John Duckworth, Owner

East Coast Greenway Alliance — Brent Buice, Georgia + South Carolina Coordinator

East Cooper Land Trust — Catherine Main, Executive Director

Ed Kronsberg — Avondale Business Owner

Engage Strategies — Alyssondra Campaigne, Principal

Enough Pie — Cathryn Davis Zommer, Executive Director

Geocent — Ryan Lemire, Executive Director, Operations & Development

Good Done Great — Earl Bridges, President & Kelly Luciano, Marketing and Communications

Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission — J. Herman Blake, Executive Director

Hampton Park Terrace Neighborhood Association — Robert Olson, President

Harold’s Cabin — John Schumacher, Co-Owner

Historic Ansonborough Neighborhood Association — Constance Baldwin, Acting Secretary

Lava Salon — Noel Richardson, Owner

Lowcountry Local First — Jamee Haley, Executive Director & Larry Downey, Community Manager

Lunch and Recess — Ryan Cockrell, Director/Writer

Maid Brigade of Charleston —Kershaw LeClercq, Owner

Mellow Mushroom (Avondale & King Street) — Meg Dorsel, Director of Marketing & Rachel Kelley, Front of House Manager

MUSC — David Cole, President of MUSC & Patrick Cawley, CEO of MUSC Health

New Belgium Brewing Co. — Luke Cooper, Coastal SC/GA Ranger

Not So Hostel — Vikki Matsis, Manager

Objectivity Squared Wealth Management — Alex Opoulos, Financial Advisor

Obviouslee Marketing — Lee Deas, Principal

OHM Radio — Vikki Matsis, Vice President

OneinaMil — Lee-Anne Scaly, CEO

Pearlz (Avondale) — Chris Cottrill, General Manager

PeopleMatter — Jason Conrad, VP of Marketing & Jay Nathan, SVP of Customer Success

Performance Consultants, LLC — Joe Calandra, Owner

Qonceptual — Mindy Taylor, CEO & Dale Ostraco, Founder

Radcliffeborough Neighborhood Association — Harry Fendrich, President

Raven Cliff Company, LLC — Steve Zoukis, CEO

Reverb Charleston, LLC — Ashley Bell, Owner/Director

SIB Fixed Cost Reduction — Dan Schneider, CEO

Silicon Harbor Magazine — Tom Warlich, Founding Editor

Soteria Security Consulting — Christopher O’Rourke, CEO

South Carolina Community Loan Fund — Michelle Mapp, CEO

South Windermere Center Merchants Association — Ric Sommons

SPARC — Marc Murphy, CEO

Taco Boy — Karalee Fallert, Partner

The Gotcha Group — Sean Flood, CEO

The Harbor Entrepreneur Center — John Osborne, Director

The Park Cafe — Karalee Fallert, Partner

The Pearlstine Company — Susan Pearlstine

The Royal American — Karalee Fallert, Partner

The Schoolhouse — John Hagerty

The Speedwell Foundation — Mike Messner, Trustee

The Southern — Erin Nathanson, Co-Owner

Trek Bicycle Store of Charleston (Mt. Pleasant & West Ashley) — Ben Gruber, Owner

Trio Solutions, Inc. — Mark Emerson, Director, Digital Marketing

Upper Peninsula Initiative/Sustainability Institute — Bryan Cordell, Executive Director & Katherine Westmoreland Richards, Development Associate

Verde (Avondale & King Street) — Bryan Judd, General Manager

Verge Solutions, LLC — Connie Moser, COO

Voodoo Tiki Bar — Caroline Adams, General Manager

WestEdge — Michael Maher, CEO

YoBo Cantina Fresca — Nicholas Powers, Co-Owner

Ziff Properties, Inc. — Tim Walter, CEO


Click here for more information including the County’s renderings & video.