If only today's real estate market were as sturdy as the bridge.

The Daniel Island Co. has finished building a span linking the mainland with Rhoden Island, a strip isolated by Cooper River marshland that could one day accommodate a new Daniel Island neighborhood.

The real estate market hasn't recovered yet, but company officials had to build the $3.5 million crossing over Ralston Creek because the environmental permit was on the verge of expiring.

The 90-acre Rhoden Island could one day hold about 100 homesites, but Matt Sloan, president of The Daniel Island Co. , said the group is waiting until buyers appreciate the value of such a remote neighborhood, located on an island off an island.

"We're going to wait for the word 'exclusive' to come back into vogue," Sloan said.

The structure marks at least the second "bridge to nowhere" scenario, triggered by the economic slump.

Along the Ashley River, the Magnolia project's developers recently built a 1,400-foot span that will one day connect the proposed Charleston development, which is approved for some 4,000 homes as well as commercial space, to Petty Street near Interstate 26 on-ramps and off-ramps.

The $9.8 million project crosses over a serene inlet of marshland but is not officially open to the public.

Still the One

Carolina One Real Estate ranked as the state's largest residential real estate brokerage in the annual list compiled by the National Association of Realtors.

The "Top 100 Companies" survey, which is based on business done during 2009, put the North Charleston-based agency as 70th largest in the country based on its $1.2 billion sale volume. That's after its 789 agents represented 5,154 transaction sides throughout the year, for a 68th place showing in that category.

The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors recorded 8,320 sales during 2009. So given that each sale typically has two represented sides, a buyer and a seller, the agency would seem to have captured almost a third of the Charleston market's real estate share that year. Association officials do not publicly release market-share data for its member companies.

Elsewhere in the state, Columbia-based Russell and Jeffcoat Inc. Realtors made the list at No. 88, with 3,993 sale representations. The company reported $654.2 million sales in sales volume.

The accompanying article noted that this year's top U.S. real estate companies are "being more selective in their recruiting, growing through careful acquisitions, aggressively developing and marketing their ancillary services, and increasing agent productivity by providing outcome-based learning opportunities."

The list appears in the July/August edition of Realtor magazine.

Reach Katy Stech at 937-5549 or kstech@postandcourier.com.