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.

November 4, 2005:
Pearman Progress: Preparing columns for later explosive removal.

Here is the overall site - a grapple and shear on to for removing the roadway (left) and near the base of the East Tower, Mickey's guys are busy drilling holes.

You can see the pattern of vertical holes better here - and to the right a holy-prepared column.

Here is a closer view of the drilling

Later, Mickey's guys on the right continue drilling while the team on the right is marking the columns for later drilling

and walking back, I found Kenny Beauclair - working on one of the 320s at the base of the Grace on ramp (Mt. Pleasant side).

I first met Kenny last May when he was working for PBC. We happened to be on the top of the west tower together (with his grandkids). If there is work to be done - you'll find Kenny there

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C. Frank Starmer