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 22, 2005: Sparky catches more of the Pearman grider extraction.
Continuing to remove girders up to the superstructure

Here you can see the edge girder on the far side resting on the two sets of caps.

To initiate the extraction, the structural integrity is disrupted just over the pier cap on the right. Here is shown the early moments of the girder's rotation around a pivot point over the left cap.

On the downward fall

After the dust mostly settles you can see the girder resting with the left end between the legs of the piers.

And now its time for a small retreat, preparing to remove the next section

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer