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.
One thing that I have learned from the Unbuilding team is that nothing is routine. Processes that seem to me to be fairly fixed are, in reality, subject to unseen challenges. Today the issue was aligning the lift bar over the center of the concrete girder. From here, you can see the juxtaposition of the crane / barge and the shore - and the girders. So there is some difficulty in aligning the lift bar when looking from below.
Never-the-less, Bob McCabe and his team are adjusting, talking, phoning etc to get both teams synchronized. Here the ironworkers are coupling the lift bar to the girder. I have a rather jerky video by stiching photos together. Maybe it will bring a few smiles.
The girder is ready for detachment from the pier cap
Jack rolls in with his shear
Takes a bite or two which frees the girder
Then the lift starts - you can see the closer edge. Also, note that there are two shackles on the far end and three on this end - to provide a way to pivot the end of the girder up (my speculation).
Then the crane operator rotates his boom
while Brad, our safety man, looks at the process
The girder is lowered and uncoupled from the lift bar
and raised for attachment to the next girder
Just to improve the centering of the lift bar, time to bring out the tape measure and add a bit of precision to the adjustment
Then the slings are adjusted
the right sling is a bit uncooperative
while Jack (shear opeartor), Scotty (fork lift operator) and Brad look on
Then Jack moves in to divide the girder into 4 segments with a few well placed bites
and a deeper bite
and suddenly - a girder fragment
which Jack picks up
passes to Scotty
who transports it down the ramp
and deposits it in the girder harvest (for transplantation to a reef)
A look at the harvest - not bad for highway work
and bye bye for today
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer