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.
And on my way to the worksite - I find Michael (on the left - see the non-reflective sunglasses) and a colleague (right) cutting a bracket.
Here is part of our team: Nugget, Michael, Pio, Jim and Richie. The main idea is that this team removes the concrete roadway - 7 feet at a time and then the supporting girders - 2 at a time.
Basically, Rich (of Concrete Cutting and Breaking, Inc.) cuts across the roadway from edge barrier to edge barrier. Note the harness and restraining cable he is wearing.
Here Rich is cutting toward the opposite edge.
After cutting, a grapple is used to rotate the 7 foot segment up and move them off the site. This is better characterized in the night photos below. Here are stacks of 7 foot segments that have been moved from the Pearman to the base of the approach. Here they are loaded on trucks and removed.
From below, it is easier to see what is happening. Here the roadway and the supporting longitudinal girders have been removed from the far part of the bridge. The cross members and edge girders remain in place.
Two barges are tied down to catch any small debris from the cutting operation above
Here you can see the beginning of rotating the left segment up
and a bit more rotation
and a bit more rotation
until all that remains are the supporting girders which will be cut and removed
The right concrete panel will then be removed and then another seven foot segment until the cross beam is reached. Then the supporting girders will be cut and removed.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer