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 Testa guys can also build - and here is the story of building a work platform before start to unbuild the concrete pier.
Here is a before photo. The idea is to take down the pier on the left while protecting the railroad tracks.
The 1250 is first fed by Tony and then takes s short nap before working
The first task is to build a platform over the tracks, then protect the exposed tracks with a blanket, then launch the 1250 and start hammering at the left pier cap. Here Michael is taking a bundle of timbers to place between the two sets of tracks.
He rotates into the bridge building launching position
and gently places them between the tracks while Pio and Richie oversee the building.
Then the timbers are genly nudged up against the tracks
Then to build the bridge over the tracks, Mike is rotating another group of tembers into position
and positioned to build the first part of the bridge
Positioning the next set of timbers
while Ryan is the fetch and tote man - bringing another set of timbers within Mike's grasp
and the handoff
After completing the bridge the slope of the on ramp is improved
as you can see here
then Ryan passes to Mike a segment of rubber carpet to protect the tracks
as seen here
and additional segment is added and positioned. To watch the carpet laying process click for a 16 Mb quicktime (mov) video
then its time to exit the platform
and launch the 1250
Here is the 1250 in its launching position
and onto the bridge (working position). Also note that on the left, that David and Bryan who manage the water are already positioned.
Now for unfolding the surgical tools for managing the pier cap unbuilding
and in position. Note that the water has started in order to manage dust.
Then hammering starts - and will not finish until some time tonight. Why? Today is a holiday and so there is minimal train traffic. Tomorrow will be train traffic as usual.
A closer view of the hammer and water spray.
A view of the overall work site
and from behind - the Port's temporary stonehenge and a sky painted with Carolina (UNC) blue (I lived in Chapel Hill for 32 years)
An interesting view from under the Morrison St on ramp.
and from East Bay looking south
and from East Bay looking east
and a final look at the work site
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer