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.

January 28, 2006:
Trimming the Pearman cantilever section

This morning I watched our unbuilders unbuild part of the A bracing. Later that afternoon, Sparky had another adventure and captured the final trimming of the Pearman cantilever segment. Little bits and pieces snipped here and there

Trimming the girder at its attachment to the splice plate

A little lift from the crane

as NASA would say - "Gentlemen, we have separation"

An end view of the to-be-trimmed segments

Cutting (up close)

from afar

with a little fireworks


and removal

The next trimming event

lifting and separating

and removal

and what is an evening with our unbuilders without a look at the sunset - from the top

and coming down

Nice work, Sparky

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer