Changing the face of Charleston : The unbuilding of the Grace and Pearman Bridges
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Unbuilding Highlights
(Apr 10)
Meeting St. Stories
(Jul 10 2006)
East Bay Stories
(Oct 10 2006)
Drum Island Stories
(Feb 17)
Pearman Bridge Stories
(Apr 3)
Grace Bridge Stories
(Apr 3)
Imposions: Prep and boom
(Mar 27)
Unbuilding Bridge Blog
(July 23 2006)
Unbuilding Challenges
(Mar 13)
Learning Links
(Feb 20)
Unbuilding Stories
(Mar 13)
Video and Sounds
(Feb 28)

August 19, 2005:
A closer look at the removal process (from Sparky Witte's photos)

The construction of the Pearman Bridge involved both prestressed concrete girders as well as steel girders. Here are some learning links to chase your curiosity about what prestressed concrete is all about. In the photos below - you can see reinforcing bars (rebar) dangling in all directions - the result of unbuilding a girder.

The Learning Links

Here is one of the last girders crossing Meeting Street

With grapples, the girder and the near support cap are more or less uprooted.

The rebar at the base of the supporting pier is cut

Working on the next girder, a grapple stabilizes the pier while the shear cleans the girder along its length

The girder is pushed off the supporting cap

and the shear cuts through the residual rebar

leaving only the supporting pier and cap

and another clash of the titans to uproot the pier and cap

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Attribution: C. Frank Starmer and Sparky Witte from