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 12 2006: Dropping P-11 -> P-13

Sparky was out on the water early this morning. I'll have the photos up shortly.

Off to work at 7:20

and the Chris-o-vator is already at work fetching and toting stuff around the Grace. Here the stuff is a couple of members of the Demolition Dynamics team. Note the charges in place as highlighted by the kevlar wrappers.

Sometimes in the shipping channel, things get a bit tight.

at the sametime - retrieval of Pearman sections and the Jackup barge ready to resume positioning Mickey's guys for drilling C-2

Its 8:10 and more close quarters

A nice view of the East Pearman and Grace Structures

Today's target - the truss spanning P-11 to P-13 with the Yorktown in the background

and our ace photographer, Sparky - set up on the barge

The ignition sequence (from individual video frames)

Time = 0.0 sec      0.033 sec
Note ignition starting from the left - Mt. Pleasant side)

Time = 0.067 sec      0.100 sec

Time = 0.133 sec      0.167 sec

Time = 0.200 sec      0.233 sec

Time = 0.267 sec      0.300 sec

Time = 0.333 sec      0.367 sec

Time = 0.400 sec      0.433 sec

Time = 0.467 sec      0.500 sec

From high resolution images

09:59:37.0 according to the EXIF data in Sparky's photos




















After the blast - a view the the results - sort of a tangle around P-12

The half submerged Grace truss between P-11 and P-12

Stan - just taking it all in

Looking from where P-11 used to be

Another view of the section that used to span P-11 to P-12

I don't know how this happened - but here is Nugget, iron worker, like Lewis - aiming a crew boat. And Sonny with a big grin!

And nothing is complete without a view of P-3 - ready for continued unbuiding by Michael. (Happy Easter Tina, Stephanie, Samantha and Joshua - enjoy your family weekend!)

From the Mt Pleasant side - Nice view

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer