An Exposé: The Don Holt Bridge

The newest form of natural selection?


Max Windom displays his strategy for surviving the Don Holt Bridge.

If you haven’t experienced a near-death experience on the Don Holt Bridge, do you really go to Academic Magnet?  Every weekday morning and afternoon, myself and many other students fight for dear life on this renowned gem of the Southeast.  Who can forget the infamous collapse of the tarp covering the bridge (Tarpgate) in 2017, which incapacitated dozens of travelers.  While luckily no one was physically hurt, their souls were surely permanently damaged.  Personally, the only thing carrying me through the daily struggle is knowing I cannot bear the shame of dying next to a paper mill.  In this article, senior investigator and bridge connoisseur, Graham Inabnett, and I delve into the experiences of fellow survivors whilst commuting along the Don Holt.

Don Holt Survivors: Where are they now?

Hannah O

“When you’re stuck on the Don Holt Bridge, the aroma of the paper mill chokes you.”

Her thoughts on Tarpgate: “I don’t understand how or why it happened” and she questions whether the spirit of the bridge is still the same.

Abby Bonner

“If you thought I didn’t like driving before, imagine how I feel now after being rammed by a scoundrel from SOA while I was simply trying to make it back to the promised land of Mt. Pleasant.”

Baxter Barrett

“Every time I’ve been on the Don Holt, I was not supposed to be on the Don Holt. Why would I voluntarily drive to Daniel Island or deep Mount Pleasant? West Cash 4 lyfe.”

Libby Jaskwhich

“99.9% of my road rage incidents occur on the Don Holt Bridge.”

John Conley


(When questioned about his experiences on the Don Holt, a croak-like gasp was all he could manage.  Enough said.)

Jared Lipton

“Some drivers define their own lane on this holy bridge.  On the first day of my sophomore year I witnessed a woman in front of me drive straight into the concrete barrier coming down from the bridge and bounce right off and keep driving.  She proceeded to cut off a semi-truck.  My queen.”

Some drivers define their own lane on this holy bridge.

— Jared Lipton

Eliza Taylor

“I used to take it home from practice but I got stuck on it for hours.”

Stuart Philp

“As a John’s Island native, I absolutely adore the Don Holt Bridge because of the lovely views similar to the ones we have on John’s Island, such as the Angel Oak.”

Max Windom

On his strategy for surviving the Don Holt: “You start out in the left lane so you can fly past all the people in the middle lane, and then once you get in front of them you swerve over two lanes into the very right lane and fly through that one.  Once you reach the crest of the bridge, you swerve back two lanes to get to the left lane again, and then you swerve to the right two lanes to take the exit.  Don’t put my name on this in case I get like a court case or something.  Say Ethan Fewell.”

Ethan Fewell

“Say something bashing Max that makes me sound super cool.”

Jackson Ray 

“The Don Holt makes me sad. They should paint it red.”

Natalie Aversano

“It’s like a tunnel to hell because my only options are school or Daniel Island, but Agaves is good.”

Ashley Bryan

“I choked on two lemon heads on that bridge…God is good.  I think he was trying to kill me.  I had the candy in my hand and I was telling my family a joke, and I ate the lemon head and started laughing.  Then I inhaled the lemon head, and it was lodged in my throat.  I could feel it and I was like ‘aghp aghp’.  My Nana saw from the back of the car, and she jumped up behind me and did the Heimlich maneuver.  The ball came out on the 10th push.”

(The first experience seemed so traumatic we couldn’t bear to ask her about the second time she almost choked on a lemon head on the Don Holt.)

God is good. I think he was trying to kill me.

— Ashley Bryan

Mason Bishop

“This bridge sucks. Also the name Don is stupid.”

Skyler Ayers

“I don’t drive it that much but it seems super trafficky.”

Kate Kuisel

“Well basically I was in a 5 car Magnet pileup freshmen year. It was Michael Goltra, Blake Bernard, Nina Howard, and we got hit from the back.  I slammed my head against the door and had a black eye for one week.  We had to stand on the side of the Don Holt for two hours while my friends drove by and snapped me pictures of myself.”

Anna Tortorici

“They tried to paint it blue, it did not work.”

Greta Waits

“Today. It was foggy.”

Kaki Cobb

“The people are really bad drivers and when it shakes I’m scared I’m going to fall off.  I hate that bridge.”

Shabih Jafri

“I need nectar.”

Rachael Stokes

“That bridge is a death trap.”

Sarah Romagnuolo

“Audrey’s mom doesn’t even let her drive over that bridge.”

Simon Hughes

“At 5:00 it sucks.”

Katie Massie

“I think that the truck lane is really annoying because at the end it converges and causes a lot of traffic.”

Grace Fellows

“I have very strong opinions about the Don Holt Bridge.  You never know when it’s going to smell awful, and I love the fact that you can go from 60 mph to a dead stop within 5 seconds.  Trucks should stay in the right lane; it’s very frustrating.”

Lyle Johnson

“What’s the Don Holt?”

(The only possible explanation for Lyle’s confusion is that he had such a traumatic experience on the bridge that he developed PTSD and blocked out the painful memories.)

What’s the Don Holt?

— Lyle Johnson


“It exemplifies the fact that Charleston has horrible public transportation.  It takes 3 hours for someone to go from downtown through Mt. Pleasant to North Charleston.  Also, the wind jerks you really bad when you’re on the Don Holt.”

Sarah Norman

“I dabble in driving over that bridge.”

Our Personal Stories

Rachel Maile

“In the words of Charli XCX, ‘I crashed my car into the bridge, I watched, I let it burn.’  Last October, the icing on the cake of my joyful junior year was when I totaled my SUV in a 5-car pileup on the Don Holt.  I was on my way to get a broken headlight fixed, but I quickly solved that problem by simply breaking the rest of my car.  Long story short, I am now in a new car with functioning headlights.”

Graham Inabnett

“The Don Holt doesn’t just ruin lives, it ruins relationships.  I noticed a correlation between driving over the Don Holt Bridge and a rapidly deteriorating relationship with my significant other.  Shortly after driving over the ole DH, we broke up.”

We wish you all the best of luck in your future Don Holt endeavors.  Godspeed.