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 25, 2006:
Jackie Foley and Michael Hebb on Fishing for Grace

Sparky's weather report was rain, rain and more rain. Nevertheless, he managed to get out on the water and catch up on the Grace retrieval work. Manny was playing his crane while Jackie was playing the shear and ? was working the grapple.

But no story can start without a progress report on P-3. Now down to the level where a low reach hammer can work - here is the progress.

An overview of the Cooper River worksite

C-2 and the jackup barge

Here is Jack and Michael with Manny and his crane in the background.

Manny's elevator, lifting the DD guys as they work on charge placement

and Manny

The jackup barge - quiet today.

I am not sure how to describe this other than fishing. The water is shallow enough that the truss sections can be readily seen - so you might say this is grappling for a section

Then its Jackie's turn - probably to cut a section so that the Michael's grapple (using a short reach arm on the 1250) can lift out a small section. Note Sparky's umbrella

Here it takes two to fish

A retrieved section. Watch the action (2 Mb synthesized video from Sparky's still photos)

A different view of fishing from the barge

and here is a frame by frame closeup of Michael's grapple and Jackie's shear dancing with a truss section

Michael lifting

Jackie positioning his jaws

and taking a bite

and Michael lifting the section

more lifting

more lifting

From a different angle

Well the rain is calling an early day and here is Manny and his cheerleaders

and - as no story is complete without P-3, no story is complete without a bit of Sparky's porthole art

A different view

Leaving the worksite

and still hammering away on P-3

Until tomorrow

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer