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.

October 31, 2005:
A new hammer for the team

Here is the Kamatsu 1250 - so tallk that I was not able to get a full photo of it. The reach with the hammer is 125' and the cab (with Michael driving) can elevate itself (as seen on the left). This is what I call the launching position - complete with a water spray (managed by Bryan and David) for dust control.

Here Michael is working on the right side of the pier cap David managing the water and Steve Testa as the choreographer of this dance of the hammer (lower right).

Here is a close view of the hammer chipping away at the corner of the pier cap

and here you can see the hammer head

Michael is repositioning the 1250 to work on the left side of the cap

Again, with a silhouette of the 1250 arm, David and stream of water. The late afternoon sun creates the opportunity for interesting images.

Here is another view of two processes - to the left, lifting one of the concrete floor girders and to the right - breaking the left side of the pier cap

Meanwhile, Ponch is directing traffic while Scott gets ready to remove some debris

and a nice reflection

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C. Frank Starmer