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.
This was not an ordinary blasting day with Mickey and the Advanced Blasting Service team. First, they were loading dynamite to implode a bridge pier substructure that was partially underwater at high tide. This required to 1: wait for the tide to start going out before loading, 2: blowing out the 36' deep holes where the dynamite would be loaded and then sequencing the blast such that the structure imploded with minimal scatter of debris. In addition, this was Dennis's 2nd day with Mickey's team - and all rookies have the honor of clearing each hole of water. This is accomplished by using a blow tube connected to an air compressor - then turning up the air pressure and blowing the water out. Because the result is somewhat unpredictable, I call this the unfaithful geyser approach. Anyway, Dennis survived the day - and finshed with a smile. To emphasize this, Junior and Kerry and Silas and, I think, Felix were not only helping but were Dennis's cheerleaders!
The last photo of the Grace cantilever section
Mickey's team is loading the D-25 substructure for implosion. Here we are approaching them from the south
But Cashman-Testa is a multiprocessing organization. Behind us (looking east), they with Mammoet were installing the platforms that will hold the hydraulic jacks for lowering the main spans of the Grace and Pearman Bridges.
The challenge for today was blowing water out of the holes that were below the high tide level. Old Unfaithful displayed two modes: massive water tower and spary. Dennis holding the hole - and waiting, Junior watching and knowing with complete precision, what will happen next.
A view of Old Unfaithful in Massive Water ejection mode. Ken is not watching, Junior is holding the hose and Dennis, our rookie, being baptized by the Cooper River water.
The spray mode of Old Unfaithful
We did serious science - and discovered another mode: Droplet mode
With empty holes, Kerry, Junior, Ken and Mickey loading dynamite
The shock tube array for sequencing the ignition - outside starting at each end and then 9 msec later, the center tubes are ignited.
More loading: Ken and Felix
Mickey and Ken loading
The shock tube line as we make our way to the Ravenel pier
The receiver setup that will trigger the shock tube
and the receiver
Pulling away on the barge and tug
T = 300 ms later
T = 600 ms
T = 900 ms
and all is calm
Returning to the Sea Breeze - with Mike Naley (left), Derek Jost and some of the new Mammoet team (behind me) that are preparing the Grace and Pearman main spans for lowering by hydraulic jacks
and of course - Sharon
and again - This is for Tina
and Jim Grier wanting to know why I had been avoiding him and his Drum island team. - Sorry, Jim - my bad
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer