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.
The night crew symphony conductor is Neil Myers (who was working this morning at 4am when I watched the cleanup after removing a section of Pearman roadway).
Iron workers are lifted to the girder where they attach the sling cables for lifting
After the cables are attached, Jack Foley uses his shear to disconnect the girder from the pier cap
a closer view
When freed, the girder is lifted by the 7550
clearing the roadway
rotated to the left
and lowered to the ramp surface
After the cables have been released, the 7550 rotates back to the right and the next girder is prepared
From a different position - you can see Jack's shear in place and the girder is about ready to be lifted
now the girder has cleared the pier attach point and will be rotated to rest on the roadway for post-processing (cutting it into 3 segments)
The girder is now positioned over the Pearman roadway and being lowered
so that it can be sut into 3 segments
Now from the Pearman ramp - here is one of the shackles used to hold the cables wrapping the girder
and here, the 7550 has raised the pull bar so that Jack can eat away at its attachment to the pier cap
Here is Jack driving his shear and setting up to decouple the girder
Setting up for the first bite (Note the shaft position that controls the shear blade opening)
then biting a bit deeper - (note the shaft position - with the shear in its open configuration
and the final bite (note the shaft position that closes the shear)
Stabilizing the girder while it is being nudged out of its 40 year home.
Lifiting the girder
Guiding the girder to rest on the wood block (lower right).
Here is Roy under Jack's the light of shear - slightly blurred because a 2 sec photo exposure is a bit long for Roy to stand still.. The last time I saw him was Saturday morning - he was running the hammer on the Pearman ramp (Mt Pleasant side). Without x-ray vision, it was impossible to catch his smile - but tonight, even blurred, you can see his smile.
Jack uses his shear to take a half-bite on the right and preparing for a half-bite on the left.
Here he is preparing for the last bite on the right.
Here Jack is taking the last bite of girder - which now is in 3 pieces
He first picks up the girder segment and rotates it for Roy
as seen here - so Roy can grab it
Roy grabs the girder fragment and Jack lets go
Roy uses his grapple to remove the girder fragment while Jack moves back for dislocating the next girder
The Ravenel Bridge takes on a different personality when viewed from the demolition site -
The Ravenel Bridge during a Pearman shock wave - i.e. Jack and Roy are working.
and so its time to leave the worksite with a last look at the Ravenel Bridge
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer