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July 21, 2014

Charleston’s new Northbridge Park replaces blight with boats

Charleston, S.C., is known as one of America’s most historic and beautiful cities. With its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and two rivers, the city offers ample opportunities for water recreation.

Land under the Cosgrove Bridge on the Charleston side of the Ashley River has long been a favorite spot where residents have enjoyed fishing and crabbing. Over the years, the area began to attract loiterers and the space started to look neglected. 

Now, thanks to beautification programs by local and state governments, that section of blighted shoreline has been redeveloped into a welcoming gateway to Charleston.

GatorDock played a major role in the transformation.  The dominant feature of the just-opened Northbridge Park is a 271-foot aluminum pier. But it’s not your ordinary pier—you have a choice of where to go and what to do!  Fishing or taking in the scenery?  From the parking lot, just walk straight out over the water to the 15’-by-30’ pier head.  Kayaking or canoeing? Turn left onto the 24’-by-30’ gathering platform and walk down the 80’ gangway to the launching deck. 

“This project was a superb collaborative effort with the city and the engineering firm, Jon Guerry Taylor & Associates,” said Rick Cawston, Gator’s southeastern regional manager.  “The new park provides an attractive, safe place for residents and visitors to enjoy recreational activities.”

Gator fabricated the pier, gangway, platforms and kayak launch, plus more than 750 feet of railings, with aluminum.  Decking and railing caps are made from durable, low-maintenance TimberTech composite materials.

For the kayak/canoe launch, the engineering firm used Gator’s VersiDock system, adding a submerged loading platform. The pier, pier head, gathering platform and launch were designed to meet requirements by the Americans with Disabilities Act so wheelchairs could turn around.

Northbridge Park is packed with amenities:  picnic tables, a pet station, parking and bicycle rack, a pedestrian/bike path, lighting, and security cameras. Kudos to Charleston for turning desolation into recreation!  

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