The Paul Gelegotis Bridge, also known as the Stono Bridge, is located in Charleston, South Carolina, USA; it connects James Island and Johns Island on SC 700 (Maybank Highway). This bridge opened in late 2003, on the historically significant site of a series of former Stono Bridges.
The Paul Gelegotis Bridge (New Bridge):
The Gelegotis Bridge is a four-lane 7,300-foot (2,200 m)-long structure, which began operation in 2003. The new elevated design allows auto traffic to move faster, while vessels pass under a 65-foot (20 m) clearance and through 90 feet (27 m) of horizontal clearance between the bridge supports. This bridge is named after Paul Gelegotis, a James Island businessman and politician. Paul Gelegotis is also known as "The Father of EMS", as it was he who created the Emergency Medical System in South Carolina. The "9-1-1" line, and medically equipped ambulances resulted.
The South Carolina Department of Transportation opened two lanes to vehicles in November 2003, and opened the remaining two lanes in June 2004. Three construction accidents delayed the opening by six months, two of these were caused by cranes falling onto the structure; the third was a worker falling 30 feet (9.1 m) from a crane. The new bridge incorporates modern features, such as shared bicycle lanes, sidewalks, and is the first bridge designed to include the South Carolina Department of Transportation's new seismic design criteria. In total, construction of the bridge cost approximately $41.5 million. The bridge was dedicated June 17, 2004.
As a result of increased traffic flow and speed over the new bridge, Charleston is considering spending approximately two million dollars to build a tunnel beneath the bridge approach ramps so golf carts and pedestrians are able to safely cross.