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 19, 2006: Mammoet Beams on the Pearman

The Ravenel Bridge and Mammoet worksites on the Pearman and Grace superstructures.

The Mammoet beams span the width of the bridge superstructure and support the hydraulic jack assemblies. An end view of a Mammoet beam over the east pins of the Pearman. These pins connect the main span with the east cantilever section.

Here is a photo of one of the hydraulic jack / umbrella assemblies from Tuesday. Note that the cables on the left pass through the hydraulic jack, over the umbrella and then down. These cables (right) will be attached to the end of the main span adjacent to the pins. The Red team is Mammoet while the Orange team is Testa.

A Mammoet beam over the west pins of the Pearman. Hydraulic jack / umbrella assemblies will be placed on each end of these beams and the cables attached to the main span for lowering it onto a barge below.

A wider view of the west Mammoet beam attached to the Pearman superstructure.

Meanwhile, back down under, a quick look at the Coleman Recycling Center. Looks like all the recycling has been accomplished, and reef transplantation is in progress.

A look at what used to be the on ramp for the Pearman Bridge. Leon did this while some of the Testa team was snowbound in Boston (last Monday).

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C. Frank Starmer