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.
Yesterday Sparky watched our acrobats remove the top section of the A the next to last step in competing the cantilever removal. Today, I watch the removal of the bottom section of the A - more ironworker acrobatics. Here is the worksite
and the crane bringing the cables for holding the to-be-cut segment (the half upside down V over the pier)
Two acrobats - one on each side grabbing the pair of cables
then orienting them - one for each side of the girder
and connecting a shackel to each side of the girder
and then gentle tension
Now to start cutting the girder - from our right to left
Burning a line across the girder
and then cutting across the edges
The last burn - and with your curious eyes, you can see the gap on left side opening.
A little more tension separates the girder from the base
and signaling to lift the girder segment
Now for the other side - rotating to bring the cables to the nearer girder
attaching the shackel for one of the two cables
a closer view
sort of walking down the girder
Then starting to cut the girder
The last of the cutting
a closer view
Signaling to lift
the girder is free
and moved to the barge
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer