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 24, 2006:

Sparky has been checking up at the Cooper River worksite and at the Navy Yard.

Here is a view of the Grace on ramp from the Mt. Pleasant side

and what remains of the supports

The jackup barge has shifted to C-3 and looks like Mickey's team is up to something

a closer look

Meanwhile, back at the Navy Yard - continued chewing of Grace and Pearman segments, loading and shipping off to that great recycling center somewhere

A grapple and shear - Jackie playing the grapple while Steve is playing the shear. Unseen is Richie - all over the place running the smaller equipment and applying his artistic touch with his torch.

A serious bite with the shear - Steve in action while

some serious gapple action - Jackie in action

and Sparky's artistic touch of Jackie and the grapple

framing the grapple with the shear

and sunset

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C. Frank Starmer