This is my last day before leaving for Singapore and my new job as
Associate Dean for learning technologies. That is a facy way to
describe building a new medical school in Singapore. So it is a day
filled with emotions, expectations and excitement.
I did not find Mickey Rogers and Ken Tully and their ABS team. They
found me and wanted to know why I had not included them in my photo
essays. So last fall, Mickey in desparation,
sent a polite email wondering why I focused on the bridges and not
on what some of the subcontractors were doing. I had no answer so I found
Mickey and my life has not been the same since.
Today was special. Professor
Rogers (aka Mickey) taught me a bit of how to load dynamite, sequence the
shock tubes and enjoy the results. Sparky and Gary joined in and together
today was a very special day. First the highlights and then the story.
Professor Mickey Rogers - and his Wednesday seminar.
I got to the worksite about 8 am. There were clouds and a
really strong wind from the north. We made our way from the Sea Breeze
Marina and passed P-3 where you can see the silhouette of
Michael's 1250 and to the left, a silhouette of the Ravenel Bridge.
Here is the D-3 worksite with Michael in the background getting ready to
take down P-3, the Drum Island concrete Grace pier.
Today's goal: to remove the D-3 substructure. D-3, itself, took forever
and a day to unbuild - so I named it
Tenacity of Purpose . Here is a view of T-3 on
November 15, 2005 - just before we encountered the meaning of tenacity
Here the substructure after the cap and supporting columns were unbuilt.
This photo was after the dynamite was loaded and sequenced.
What a pleasant start to find
Michael (a quiet reminder of all the people that made these photo
essays possible: ichie, Jackie, Leon, Roy, Lewis, Steve, Pio, Neal,
Jim, Bob, Ken C., Joe, Nugget, Stan, Sonny,
Speedy, Chucky, Scotty, Chris D., Junior, Manny,
Chris V. Ponch, Ken T., Pat, Art, Farmer, Rip, Gary, Paul,
and perhaps the rest of you will forgive me for a lapse in memory).
Here is Michael's 1250 in the sleeping position - and
then in the operating position
I learned a new term: high reach work - and this is a high reach indeed
And our primary worksite, the T-3 substructure. The top surface had
been drilled with 36 (I think) vertical holes for the dynamite.
Each hole was 45' deep and Mickey sequenced the detonation such that
the middle charges were detonated with propagation to the outside.
The result was a collapse, first in the center and then the outer
walls collapsed inward. The specific strategy, Mickey called a
V pattern. As seen in the high res photos of the initial moments
after detonation, his sequencing strategy produced the desired
Loading - Mickey and then a lesson for me
But Mickey had better ideas - put on my had and Professor Roger's
holds a dynamite loading seminar - one junior learner (student):
Watch Mickey teach Frank
how to load a 45' column with 120 lbs of dynamite (4 Mb mpg) (and break
a 50' tape measure). In reality I had two professors - Junior, sitting
in front of me was our QC guy - making sure I measured carefully -
dropped the dynamite in with the detonator down - all those practical
issues that escaped me.
Retrieving the tape (before I broke it)
Loading one of the 24 sticks of dynamite - this one with a detonator
Carefully dropping it into the 45' hole
Then adding some stemming (crushed rock that compacts after the detonation and
minimizes the upward shock wave). You can see Felix on the left
with a big grin, watching me struggle to do everything correctly.
Both Felix and Junior are the experts here and simply assisting
Mickey has he humors an old man and provides a moment of excitment.
Some more dynamite from Junior.
Mickey is not quite sure at my skill - so always inspecting.
Me - seeking approval
20 more or less sticks of dynamite later - the final stimming and on to the
Now watch Mickey - a professional -
Mickey loading (real time)
(8 Mb mpg).
Loading for Mickey is ok - but teaching me - hmmm - time for a break
With the yellow shock tubes - he sets the detonation sequence -
Mick calls this the zigzag sequence - a strategy for generating inward
motion of the structure as it collapses
The sequenced array of loaded holes
The shock tube array from the side.
Mickey ties in the master shock tube
and his team rolls it out toward the barge
Its time to depart from T-3. Lewis and Richard raise the spuds that anchor
Bye bye T-3
Off to a safe distance
and lowering the spud
From the staging barge (in the distance with the crane)
- Richard, Lewis and Brutus took us to the other barge where
Mickey set up the detonation receiver. Here, looking from the Drum Island
barge along the yellow shock tube
and Mickey set up the receiver
However, on our way to the Port -
Mickey made a small detour - to add something special to the face of T-3
and Mickey's heart
From Gary's position on the dock - he got another perspective
Rick, Karen (from SCDOT who pushed the button) and Mickey
Ken Canty and myself. Ken became a good friend and managed to open many
doors for me so that I could get an
inside look at the unbuilding process and relate the story as short
photo essays. A real friend!
and Joe Duffy - the inside man at the skunk works - more encouragement
and insights from Joe than I could have asked for
and Sparky - no words to describe Sparky
and our team
Us! - Tres amigos - Sparky, Frank and Gary. With their help and help from
others, the unbuilding story will continue! Gary has pulled together some
photos from our times together. I have included a few above - what
a wonderrful friend.
Click and enjoy. I shall miss Gary and Sparky.