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Changing the face of Charleston : The unbuilding of the Grace and Pearman Bridges
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Unbuilding Highlights
(Apr 10)
Meeting St. Stories
(Jul 10 2006)
East Bay Stories
(Oct 10 2006)
Drum Island Stories
(Feb 17)
Pearman Bridge Stories
(Apr 3)
Grace Bridge Stories
(Apr 3)
Imposions: Prep and boom
(Mar 27)
Unbuilding Bridge Blog
(July 23 2006)
Unbuilding Challenges
(Mar 13)
Learning Links
(Feb 20)
Unbuilding Stories
(Mar 13)
Video and Sounds
(Feb 28)

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Unbuilding the Pearman Bridge
Click a photo below for a link to that story. For a display of all stories, click here.


August 01, 2005 0:00
From SCDOT: A view from above

aug_01_scdot_05_chs_approaches.jpg
August 06, 2005 15:37
The Beginning of Unbuilding

aug_06_ravenel_from_pearman_2578.jpg
August 11, 2005 17:19
Removing the Pearman roadway

aug_11_3023_big_push.jpg
August 16, 2005 16:46
Sparky in action: Dropping girders

aug_16_495_grace.jpg
August 17, 2005 17:37
Our surgical team on the Pearman roadway

aug_17_3877_pearman_caps.jpg
August 19, 2005 16:51
Surgical roadway removal

aug_19_3918_pearman_super.jpg
August 20, 2005 9:20
Building Charleston's Stonehenge

aug_20_4072_drum_stonehenge.jpg
August 20, 2005 9:43
A roadway skeleton

aug_20_4110_crane.jpg
August 22, 2005 17:59
Dropping roadway segments

aug_22_1160_sparky_drum.jpg
August 23, 2005 16:33
Residual girders to drop (from Sparky Witte)

aug_23_1219_pearman_sparky.jpg
August 27, 2005 19:45
Stonehenge

aug_27_0001_pearman_grace.jpg
August 31, 2005 17:21
Pearman On and Off ramps

aug_31_1907_pearman_on_off.jpg
September 02, 2005 15:11
The edge of the Pearman superstructure

sep_02_0065_platform.jpg
September 03, 2005 19:36
Closer views of the superstructure

sep_03_0107_truss.jpg
September 11, 2005 15:46
Cutting and removing roadway segments

sep_11_4334_concrete_cutting.jpg
September 11, 2005 21:27
Night removal of roadway and fun with night images

sep_11_4495_lift_panel.jpg
September 12, 2005 11:10
Coupling the superstructure to the base

sep_12_4835_tiedown.jpg
September 19, 2005 10:30
Watching Pearman work from the Grace

sep_19_4971_pearman_cooper.jpg
September 19, 2005 12:03
Under the Pearman On Ramp

sep_19_4991_pearman_east.jpg
September 20, 2005 11:32
Cutting through girders: Nugget, a dentist in disguise

sep_20_0547_tooth_extract.jpg
September 21, 2005 10:20
Cutting the roadway into segments
with video

sep_21_0736_concrete.jpg
September 21, 2005 17:54
Removing a roadway segment
with video

sep_21_1018_pickup.jpg
September 21, 2005 19:07
Cutting girders

sep_21_1049_cutting.jpg
September 29, 2005 15:24
Test blast (from Sparky Witte and Mickey Rogers of Advanced Blasting Services)

sep_29_0044_sparky_after.jpg
September 30, 2005 7:24
Last Pearman Roadway Segment

sep_30_5477_unfinished.jpg
October 01, 2005 0:00
From SCDOT: A view from above

oct_01_scdot_27_pearman_girders.jpg
October 01, 2005 8:41
Truss roadway completely removed

oct_01_5574_mike_hammer.jpg
October 01, 2005 13:52
Removing Pearman Columns

oct_01_5671_pearman_breakup.jpg
October 05, 2005 12:31
Dropping a Pearman column just like dropping a tree - almost

oct_05_6067_blast.jpg
October 06, 2005 0:00
Removing Charleston's Stonehenge

oct_06_pearman_sparky_040.jpg
October 11, 2005 10:00
Dropping the Town Creek segment of the Pearman Bridge

oct_11_bryant_stowe_03.jpg
October 13, 2005 0:00
Retrieving a section of the Pearman truss

oct_13_1349_sparky_burning.jpg
October 16, 2005 15:29
Retrieving and chewing truss segments

oct_16_6146_raise.jpg
October 20, 2005 18:00
Bridge skeletons

oct_20_6403_pearman_cantilever.jpg
October 20, 2005 23:57
Removing concrete girders: A view from the top

oct_20_6685_top_shear.jpg
October 22, 2005 10:42
Removing roadway from the Pearman off-ramp

oct_22_6786_hammer_shear.jpg
October 22, 2005 10:53
Preparing the Pearman piers for blasting

oct_22_6765_pearman_overview.jpg
October 29, 2005 0:00
Retrieving the last of the Town Creek Pearman segments

oct_29_Ravenel_18_towncreek.jpg
October 29, 2005 10:48
Innovation@work: roadway removal over steel girders

oct_29_pearman_7343_kevin_lift.jpg
October 31, 2005 16:00
Removing the piers and caps with the new 1250

oct_31_1822_1250.jpg
October 31, 2005 16:56
Lifting and processing floor girders

oct_31_1935_pearman_brad_bite.jpg
November 01, 2005 17:14
Working as the sun says goodbye

nov_01_2142_port_sunset.jpg
November 02, 2005 5:03
Early morning work: removing roadway crossing East Bay

nov_02_2211_cleanup.jpg
November 02, 2005 23:03
Late night work: Harvesting girders over East Bay as seen from below and above

nov_02_2486_pull.jpg
November 04, 2005 7:47
Continued drilling to prepare the columns for removal

nov_04_2693_drilling_marking.jpg
November 04, 2005 8:27
Picking girders from the Cooper River segment of the Pearman

nov_04_2616_girder_setup.jpg
November 07, 2005 16:25
Harvesting girders from the Pearman: 50 tons at a time

nov_07_2986_attaching.jpg
November 10, 2005 8:17
The 7550 harvesting girders from the Pearman ramp

nov_10_8980_girder.jpg
November 11, 2005 13:10
Building a bridge to unbuild a pier cap

nov_11_3547_bridge.jpg
November 12, 2005 6:10
Cleanup and bringing down the next column

nov_12_9217_1250_start.jpg
November 14, 2005 11:46
Harvesting concrete girders from the Pearman

nov_14_9811_move_girder.jpg
November 14, 2005 14:40
More about girder harvesting

nov_14_9620_rest.jpg
November 15, 2005 10:03
Dropping the Drum Island cantilevered section of the Pearman

nov_15_frame_3.jpg
November 16, 2005 7:57
Innovation@work: Removing roadway segments over concrete girders

nov_16_0332_ted_longitudinal_cut.jpg
November 19, 2005 10:22
Marching down the Pearman ramp to Mt Pleasant

nov_19_015_harvested.jpg
November 19, 2005 11:08
The disappearing Pearman Stonehenge and going is the Grace ramp

nov_19_089_inside_grace.jpg
November 21, 2005 13:25
All that remains are roots and bones at the Columbus St. Terminal

nov_21_3729_grace_bones.jpg
November 22, 2005 14:30
Harvesting girders: Every day brings a new challenge

nov_22_4160_pearman_worksite.jpg
November 27, 2005 14:20
Preparations of the Pearman Piers

nov_27_sparky_026_pearman.jpg
November 30, 2005 6:30
Loading and sequencing D-25 with explosives

nov_30_4469_insert_nitro.jpg
November 30, 2005 15:53
Imploding Pearman Pier D-25

nov_30_1002_d25.jpg
December 01, 2005 14:00
A gift from SCDOT - a view from above

dec_01_scdot_117_grace_town_creek.jpg
December 11, 2005 14:23
The jackup barge and a language lesson

dec_11_4856_pearman.jpg
December 12, 2005 8:20
Bobby McCabe's Pearman jazz ensemble with a Jackup Barge

dec_12_1799_ted_cutting.jpg
December 13, 2005 8:48
Repositioning the jack-up barge and more roadway harvesting

dec_13_1974_jackup_move.jpg
December 14, 2005 6:32
Early morning girder harvesting

dec_14_1982_worksite.jpg
December 16, 2005 14:01
Dropping Pearman piers M1-M5 with style

dec_16_2360_m1m5.jpg
January 01, 2006 12:45
A snapshot of the Gace and Pearman skeletons

jan_01_sparky_055.jpg
January 05, 2006 16:30
Harvesting the last floor girders and preparing the base of the Mt. Pleasant Pier

jan_05_5278_pearman_girders.jpg
January 07, 2006 8:45
Unbuilding the Pearman ramp and preparing the observation deck foundation

jan_07_5346_jack_mike.jpg
January 09, 2006 7:15
More of the jack-up barge and Cantilever acrobats

jan_09_2721_jackup.jpg
January 09, 2006 10:04
Early start, loading and imploding Pearman D-24

jan_09_2991_D24.jpg
January 11, 2006 7:41
Early morning at the Pearman and Grace ramps

jan_11_3139_under_pearman.jpg
January 11, 2006 8:30
Unbuilding the Pearman truss cantilever - one stick at a time

jan_11_3419_truss_down.jpg
January 11, 2006 15:01
Practice makes perfect: Dropping D-27 with remote ignition

jan_11_3498_d27.jpg
January 12, 2006 17:29
Sparky catching sunset at its best

jan_12_sparky_158_pg.jpg
January 15, 2006 15:00
Only one Pearman span remains

jan_15_sparky_091.jpg
January 17, 2006 15:00
D-23 is gone: No more Drum Island Pearman supports

jan_17_222_d23.jpg
January 17, 2006 15:57
Mickey and his ABS team drop D-23 and top D-25

jan_17_mickey_011_b3.jpg
January 18, 2006 13:36
Gone is T4 - the last Drum Island Pearman support

jan_18_abs_023_T4.jpg
January 19, 2006 17:38
Sparky catches sunset over Town Creek

jan_19_sparky_130_sunset_grace.jpg
January 21, 2006 9:05
Cleaning up the remains of T-4

jan_21_6571_drum_cleanup.jpg
January 21, 2006 9:15
Preparing for the Mt. Pleasant Observation / Fishing pier

jan_21_6594_observation_base.jpg
January 24, 2006 15:05
Drilling the T4 base for explosive disassembly

jan_24_6724_drill.jpg
January 25, 2006 14:05
Adventures with Captain Bill's jackup barge and Mickey's drilling team

jan_25_3754_jackup_down.jpg
January 25, 2006 15:45
High flying with the iron workers

jan_25_sparky235.jpg
January 26, 2006 15:00
Blasting the T-4 foundation, removing Grace's off ramp and ironworker acrobats

jan_26_3875_blast.jpg
January 27, 2006 14:56
Unbuilding the top of the A

jan_27_sparky_271_burn_top.jpg
January 28, 2006 8:26
The Mt. Pleasant pier foundation

jan_28_4080_pearman_obs_pier.jpg
January 28, 2006 9:48
Unbuilding the bottom of the A

jan_28_4096_port_connect.jpg
January 28, 2006 16:35
The final trimming of the Pearman cantilever

jan_28_sparky_083.jpg
January 30, 2006 11:53
Blasting D-23 substructure

jan_30_mickey_005.jpg
February 01, 2006 0:00
SCDOT gives us a view from above

feb_01_scdot_04_ebay_shop.jpg
February 02, 2006 7:25
A Pearman pier and the meaning of tenacity of purpose

feb_02_4452_pearman_pier.jpg
February 02, 2006 7:34
A golden early morning and loading D-24

feb_02_7510_loading.jpg
February 02, 2006 11:35
Unbuilding the D-24 substructure

feb_02_sparky_217_b4.jpg
February 04, 2006 16:20
A transition from unbuilding to rebuilding

feb_04_4546_meeting.jpg
February 07, 2006 14:01
Blasting the foundation of Pearman pier D-26

feb_07_4915_blast.jpg
February 12, 2006 11:05
A Sunday survey of the worksites

feb_12_5502_grace_skeleton.jpg
February 14, 2006 10:00
Implosion of D-25 substructure

feb_14_5837_d25.jpg
February 16, 2006 13:06
The Mammoet umbrella and Grace / Pearman preparations

feb_15_sparky_jacks_041_cables_ravenel.jpg
February 16, 2006 15:00
ABS imploding the M5 Pearman substructure

feb_16_mickey_013_m5.jpg
February 17, 2006 11:10
Sparky's whirlwind visit: up, down and all around

feb_17_sparky_jacks_262_pearman_east_platform.jpg
February 19, 2006 7:45
Mammoet beams riding on the top of the Pearman

feb_19_6270_mammoet.jpg
February 20, 2006 9:45
Installing the hydraulic jack - umbrella - cable assembly

feb_20_sparky_095.jpg
February 21, 2006 17:30
Sparky to the rescue - more prep for lowering the Pearman main span

feb_21_sparky_327_sunset.jpg
February 22, 2006 6:45
History today - Successful lowering of the Pearman main span over the Cooper RIver

feb_22_6946_lower.jpg
February 23, 2006 12:55
Unbuilding the great Mammoets

feb_23_sparky_003_team.jpg
February 24, 2006 15:30
Pio and serious unbuilding at the Navy yard

feb_24_sparky_211_pio_richie.jpg
February 25, 2006 11:45
Pio's Jazz Quintet fells the Pearman main span

feb_25_sparky_218_worksite.jpg
February 27, 2006 12:30
Dancing to Pio's music

feb_27_sparky_254_steve_loading.jpg
March 02, 2006 15:23
Sparky, a budding art photographer

mar_04_sparky_059_box.jpg
March 22, 2006 15:01
T-3 and Frank say bye bye

mar_22_0553_blast_close.jpg
March 26, 2006 11:20
Sparky catches reversal of wear and tear

mar_26_sparky_011_sparky.jpg
March 27, 2006 15:03
Rebuilding a jackup barge leg, work on "Stiff Neck" and pre-blast prep on the Pearman

mar_27_sparky_001_missing_rack.jpg
April 01, 2006 0:00
From SCDOT: A view from above

apr_01_scdot_19_east_bridges.jpg
April 04, 2006 14:00
D-27 Substructure. Mickey and his team do it again

apr_04_sparky_075_D27.jpg
April 05, 2006 9:00
Demolition Dynamics: Dropping the east Pearman cantilever

apr_05_frames_044_ignite.jpg
April 09, 2006 9:04
A neck procedure for Michael's 1250

apr_09_sparky_132.jpg
April 12, 2006 7:20
Cleanup of the Pearman cantilever and drilling C-2 and D-28

apr_12_351_pearman_c2_drilling_10_44.jpg
April 14, 2006 9:48
Then and Now - Transforming the skylines of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant

apr_14_sparky_101_ravenel_east.jpg
April 18, 2006 12:29
Mickey's team drilling C-2 and P-8

apr_18_sparky_308_jackup.jpg
April 24, 2006 16:05
Cleanup around the Cooper River and the Navy Yard

apr_24_sparky_064_navy.jpg
May 03, 2006 13:03
Unbuilding from below and above

may_03_sparky_108_pearman_piece.jpg
May 08, 2006 12:41
Unbuilding does not stop for lunch

may_07_sparky_061_pearman_lower.jpg
May 11, 2006 16:10
Sparky makes a tour of the worksites (between the rain episodes)

may_11_sparky_004_grace_pearman_worksite.jpg
May 23, 2006 8:40
Oscar and the team preparing for the last Pearman blast

may_23_sparky_033.jpg
May 24, 2006 10:00
Bye bye to the last Pearman superstructure

may_24_blast_058_blast.jpg
June 01, 2006 10:00
A view from above by SCDOT

jun_01_scdot_02_cooper_worksite.jpg
June 04, 2006 12:51
What a change in the Cooper River landscape

jun_04_sparky_064_sunset_worksite.jpg
June 05, 2006 14:30
Manny's secret fishing hole

jun_05_sparky_029_lift.jpg
June 10, 2006 16:35
Unbuilding the C-2 Pearman bearing

jun_10_sparky_166_bearing_free.jpg
June 16, 2006 14:57
Dropping C-1

jun_16_gary_9716.jpg
June 19, 2006 12:05
Reviewing the past 2 years:
The changing face of the Cooper River

jul_21_2004_8506_worksite.jpg
June 19, 2006 14:27
Mickey's famous disappearing act - P-7 foundation unbuilt

jun_19_sparky_019_blast.jpg
June 20, 2006 19:15
Cleanup at the Navy Yard and a new player

jun_20_sparky_010_new_excavator.jpg
June 23, 2006 12:56
C-3 takes the plunge

jun_23_highres_069_blast.jpg
June 24, 2006 11:57
From SCDOT, Julie and Randi - A history of the project from above

apr_01_scdot_19_east_bridges.jpg
June 26, 2006 15:10
Our backup video team and the Navy Yard

jun_26_sparky_003_satya.jpg
June 30, 2006 13:15
See Mickey's new Copco

jun_30_c3_sparky_014_new_copco.jpg
June 30, 2006 13:35
Marine life in the Cooper River

jun_30_c3_sparky_057_growth.jpg
June 30, 2006 14:25
Mickey, Ken, Sparky and team: Evaporating the C-4 base

jun_30_c3_sparky_070.jpg
July 06, 2006 14:05
C-2 prep, Mickey and the Discovery Channel

jul_06_c2_043_array_c1.jpg
July 07, 2006 11:32
Final prep and sequencing of C-2

jul_07_c2_039.jpg
July 07, 2006 12:58
Almost the last big blast - C-2, the Discovery Channel, Friends and Families

jul_07_c2_106.jpg
July 08, 2006 12:13
Timmy cleaning up what Mickey left from yesterday: C-2 base

jul_08_c2_008.jpg
July 14, 2006 14:50
C-1 base takes a dive

jul_14_c2base_008.jpg
July 17, 2006 11:54
Meet the Jay Cashman (aka 995)

jul_17_995_010.jpg
July 22, 2006 10:30
Meet Billy Ward and the 995 in action

jul_22_pleasant_012.jpg
July 24, 2006 16:08
Building the Observation Pier and unbuilding P-8 and P-9

jul_23_waterfront_025_obs_pier.jpg
July 25, 2006 16:33
Fishing with the 995 and unloading Pearman debris at the Navy Yard

jul_25_navy_026.jpg
August 10, 2006 15:20
Touring the worksites and drilling C-3

aug_10_abs_036.jpg
August 16, 2006 19:06
New boy on the block at the Navy Yard

aug_16_navy_012.jpg
August 22, 2006 10:09
C-2 prep and setting up for the C-3 show

aug_22_c3_109_loading.jpg
August 22, 2006 11:29
Imploding the C-3 substructure - Mickey and Ken at their best

aug_22_c3_008_blast.jpg
August 30, 2006 14:36
Final cleanup at the Navy Yard

aug_30_michael_008.jpg
October 13, 2006 17:13
From Mt. Pleasant to Charleston. Sparky provides an all around update

oct_13_sparky_030.jpg
October 17, 2006 15:48
The J. Cashman scooping and dumping + a bit of Chris Vocci

oct_17_sparky_018_995_worksite.jpg
October 26, 2006 11:00
An aerial survey from SCDOT

oct_03_scdot_14a.jpg
October 31, 2006 18:25
The Mt. Pleasant Pier resting on the Pearman footings

oct_31_sparky_005.jpg
November 02, 2006 10:15
Sextet for Stan, Nugget, Carlos, Troy, Manny and Chris.

nov_02_sparky_010_stan_nugget_carlos.jpg
November 09, 2006 17:23
Manny and Chris get well deserved extensions

nov_09_sparky_116_extend.jpg
November 15, 2006 15:03
Gloom and rain can not stop unbuilding

nov_15_sparky_001_unbuild.jpg
November 20, 2006 17:19
More Pearman truss unbuilding

nov_21_pearman_027_bite.jpg
December 02, 2006 16:17
Sparky is back from Katrina-land to give us a bridge fix

dec_02_sparky_137_sign.jpg
December 06, 2006 13:11
Manny and Iron Worker Acrobats - the end is near

dec_06_sparky_011_worksite.jpg
December 08, 2006 17:15
Diagonal cables to stabilize the temporary columns

dec_08_sparky_458.jpg
December 09, 2006 18:03
Building the Mt. Pleasant Observation Pier

dec_09_sparky_048.jpg
December 10, 2006 15:38
Gone is the last of the Pearman trusses

dec_10_sparky_012.jpg
December 11, 2006 17:23
What is buildeth can be unbuilt

dec_11_sparky_024_rooftop_view.jpg
December 13, 2006 15:05
Cleanup of the Pearman unbuilding

dec_13_pearman_076_worksite.jpg
December 13, 2006 18:03
The Navy yard - cleanup and the 995

dec_13_navy_399_worksite.jpg
December 22, 2006 16:28
SCDOT's aerial survey

dec_02_scdot_14.jpg
January 05, 2007 16:14
Neither rain, snow, or ice can keep Jimmy Grier from an oyster roast

jan_05_sparky_044.jpg
January 09, 2007 16:34
Cleanup and preparation for imploding T-1

jan_09_sparky_006_worksite.jpg
January 10, 2007 16:17
Wrapping T-1 for Friday's implosion

jan_10_sparky_089_start_next.jpg
January 11, 2007 16:43
Mickey, Ken and team loading T-1

jan_11_sparky_081_worksite.jpg
January 12, 2007 9:21
T-1 is no more: Mickey and Ken at their best

jan_12_sparky_091.jpg
January 13, 2007 13:11
Michael Rogers makes his debut

jan_13_sparky_151_carlos_michael.jpg
January 14, 2007 16:10
Gone is T-2, the last of the Pearman support piers

jan_14_T2_027_b2.jpg
February 08, 2007 17:52
Sunset over the Mt. Pleasant pier

feb_08_sparky_009.jpg
February 10, 2007 12:08
Sparky takes a walk down memory lane, with Liza and Lauren

feb_10_sparky_004_walki.jpg
February 28, 2007 13:21
Preparing the T-2 base for Shelly

feb_28_blast_124_place.jpg
February 28, 2007 15:59
Shelly pushes the button and gone is the T-2 foundation

feb_28_blast_234.jpg
March 29, 2007 16:46
The clean up after ...

mar_29_sparky_071_cleanup_site.jpg
April 03, 2007 12:35
The last of Manny. What a man and what a smile - sigh

apr_04_sparky_057_last_manny.jpg
April 10, 2007 7:42
Morning sun kisses the Graceless and Pearmanless Ravenel Bridge

apr_10_sparky_009.jpg

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Attribution: C. Frank Starmer and Sparky Witte from http://oldcooperriverbridge.org