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.

September 30, 2005: Mt. Pleasant side of the Pearman work site

It was a foggy and dark morning - and a quiet that walks with the early morning. But the guys were at it - Pio, Nugget, Mike, Jim - working on the last segment of the Pearman roadway (up to the end of the superstructure)

Here is the recyling area - lost of sections of edge barriers for rebar recovery

and Jack and his colleage (another short term memory problem of mine). Here - note the use of the bridge roadway segment to make a work surface for rebar recovery

Here is an interesting view of the pearman site - with Jim's headlight in the background as he brings a road segment down to the recycle area

And a better view of Jim and his mega-forklift

Here is Michael - chillin' a bit while the roadway is cut

Here is the remaining roadway to be removed today

and Nugget has just finished his cutting

Tools ready and waiting

Richie has finished some of the cleanup and more chillin' together with Mike. Note that at 7am, Michael is not wearing sun glasses.

Meanwhile, Jim is fetching and toting road segments to the recycle area - and stacking them in nice neat stacks. Later these will be used to make a temporary roadway for the CATs as they work their way around the bases of the Grace and Pearman bridges. More recycling - someone on the team is a chess master and thinking 14 moves ahead!

And Jack got the same message - no sun glasses this morning

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C. Frank Starmer