Watch the demolition (unbuilding) of the Grace and Pearman Bridges (old Cooper River Bridges)

The Bridge Blog
A dialog about our new bridge and these web pages

Overview. Schools and universities are all about learning - and learning is mostlly brain training. Learning is expedited by repetition and forgetting is expedited by infrequent use of learned skills or information. Tracking the building of the Ravenel Bridge and now tracking the demolition of the Grace and Pearman Bridges bring many questions to me and help me better understand the role Google and the Internet play in just-in-time learning. I enjoy chasing my curiosity and want to identify ways to encourage younger learners to also enjoy curiosity chasing and learning.

Many young learners do not understand the importance of repetition. More important, while experienced learners understand the learning process they often do not realize the destructive effects of the forgetting process. Over the course of the bridge project, I have access to only a few experts. Rather than a liability, this has become an asset and pushed me to improve my search skills with Google. Soon, I realized that answers to questions encountered during my photo adventures were often only a Google-search away. Gene Stead, my first boss and I put these ideas together in a small essay: (see Restoring the Joy in Learning).

Google + Internet have become dependable extensions of my memory. Insights I gain from you and this project will find their way into the learning centers in our schools and universities.

Tue, 16 Aug 2005

August 13, 2005: Another very pleasant surprise

Sparky Witte, a long time resident of Mt. Pleasant, grew up with the Grace and Pearman bridges. With the Ravenel bridge he has enjoyed being able to walk and bicycle across the bridge, admiring Mt. Pleasant to the east and Charleston to the west. He also can watch the unbuilding of the Grace and Pearman bridges.

Last night, Sparky sent me a group of photos of the July 30 events - the race and the old car parade. Moreover, he had taken quite a bit of time to track the demolition of the I-26 and Meeting Street overpasses. I was unable to stay for all the I-26 work Sunday morning and missed completely the Meeting Street overpass demolition. So here is part of Sparky's gift - a group of photos that provided timely tracking of the unbuilding process. I have added the Meeting Street work to the main page (tracking the progress over the past days) as well as to the Meeting St. page. His photos of the extraction of one set of supporting piers (and cap) as been added to the Engineering Challenges page.

Among his photos was one of him - posted above. Clearly, Sparky has brought new life to our web page, adding photo input to the engineering input I receive from many people. Sparky - you're the greatest!

posted at: 16:27 | path: | permanent link to this entry

Write me:
frank.starmer at

March 2006
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31