Unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Bridges

For Sparky and myself, curiosity drives passion which in turn fuels our life's engine. Our passion was capturing the story of both unbuilding the Grace (1929 - 2007) and Pearman (1966 - 2007) Bridges and discovering the unbuilders. It takes a lot of passion to track a project from July 2005 until April 2007 - rain, shine, hurricanes or moving to Singapore. We discovered the joy of discovery learning. Ken Canty opened the front door for us - then Steve Testa, Ponch Billingsley and Mickey Rogers opened many side doors. Below are the highlights of what we discovered, who we met and what we learned.

And a reminder from T.S. Eliot (East Coker from the Four Quartets)

Home is where one starts from. As we grow older
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment
Isolated, with no before and after,
But a lifetime burning in every moment
And not the lifetime of one man only
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered.

February 3, 2007: Building the Mt. Pleasant Pier

Sparky tells me that it is a bit on the cold side and rainy in Charleston. Here in Singapore, we have quite cold weather. Typically its about 82 - 85 at night. But for the last week it has been a most pleasant, though cold, 75 (23 C). This gives quite a twist to the concept of global warming. We have, in reality, polar warming and equatorial cooling.

What is left today? Michael's 1250 and barge have been moved to the Navy Yard and T-2 is being drilled by Mickey's team. Now that Michael has cleared the center of the Grace pier, I think Mickey's team will drill that also. About the T-1 substructure, Chris Vocci, I think, has been hammering away at it - so perhaps it will be removed just by hammering.

Here is the worksite for the Mt. Pleasant observation and fishing pier


and looking back toward Mt. Pleasant.


Look at the surface. Virtually the entire pier has a concrete icing


Further along the pier


and recently poured concrete is curing


Some sort of work going on - but I can't figure it out.


Our building team, looks like Joe Duffy in the foreground - but maybe not?


and back to the beginning - a view from the side. What a wonderful addition to Mt. Pleasant


and a pleasant graded side - making the transition from the pier level to the marsh level.


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C. Frank Starmer