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.

August 19, 2005: Grace Structure

A view of the main Grace span (March 6, 2005). The peaked superstructure above each concrete support pier acts as a cantilever. The central pinned structure has a lower peak.

The Grace spans consist of 3 major components: a center span where the pinned component is on the lower left and lower right.

and a pier supporting a cantilevered component (left) that is attached by a vertial element (Ken told me the name and I forgot) (right)

Removal of the Grace bridge will consist of dropping the central component into the Cooper River, leaving the cantilevered components for later removal.

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C. Frank Starmer