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.

April 9, 2006:
A neck procedure for Michael

When last seen, Sparky was surveying the Mt. Pleasant side of the Grace Bridge - and all that remains is the traffic barrier with a faint outline of SW

The Grace worksite

and the Coleman recycling center - not much there at all

At the Navy yard, there are Pearman fragments, I assume from the cantilever section dropped last week

And in for a neck operation is Michael's 1250 being pushed by Pat

The working tug - the Captain Gary

and Pat, of course

The 1250 in the resting position.

Why the neck procedure. Michael has unbuilt enough of P-3 that the neck of the 1250 is too long (i.e. high reach is no longer necessary - just ordinary reach) - so the 1250 is in for a neck reduction - to remove a vertabra or two - so that the boom is better matched to the height of P-3

Here is the 1250 at the Navy yard dock

Meanwhile back at the port, to cats guard the site

Looking to the right - P3 and the Ravenel Bridge

and to the left, Drum Island in its almost finished state

A closer look at Michael's progress in unbuilding P-3

and more sections of the Pearman cantilever section blast from last week - ready for transport

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C. Frank Starmer