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.

Tenacity of Purpose

Some things just take more effort and time than others. T-3, the huge Pearman support pier near Drum Island is a good example of tenacity of purpose - what Lucy discussed with Charlie Brown way back when. Sparky and I have been watching T-3 ungrow for the past several months and, though we did not realize that this would be a display of Steve's tenacity of purpose, it just turned out that way. I retrieved as many of our photos of T-3 from December to now to show the story. Sorry for the gap around Christmas, both Sparky and I were asleep at the wheel. Here is Steve Testa's variant of Tenacity of Purpose.

It all started with dropping the cantilever section of the Pearman over Town Creek.. The task now is to retrieve the girders and unbuild T-3. November 15, 2005: Explosing T-3 after dropping the cantilever section of the Pearman over Town Creek

December 6, 2006: after removing the Pearman girders from Town Creek

December 12, 2006: Positioning the barges and crane

The cap disappeared while Sparky and I were asleep at the throttle. January 1, 2006:

January 5, 2006: The jackup barge at work

January 7, 2006: The jackup barge continues

January 9, 2006: Hammering away at the cross member from the jackup barge.

January 11, 2006: Now working on the columns from the jackup barge

January 12, 2006: Michael and his high reach 1250 working on one side and the jackup barge on the other.

January 16, 2006: like a bad tooth extraction

January 21, 2006: after imploding T-4

January 26, 2006:

February 2, 2006: There is light at the end of the tunnel

February 7, 2006: One column down and one to go

February 17, 2006: There is light at the end of the tunnel

March 1, 2006: More light at the end of the tunnel - the other column almost gone

March 11, 2006: To the left Silas and Brett drilling 45' holes with the John Henry for the March 22 implosion.

March 18, 2006: Ready for loading

March 22, 2006: Task complete

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C. Frank Starmer