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 31, 2005:
Preparation for dismantling the Grace superstructure

A view of the Grace off-ramp and Pearman on-ramp from Hanover St.

Looking back: the Pearman on-ramp on the left and Pearman off-ramp on the right. The Testa guys are moving rapidly toward Hanover St.

The pink lines mark the safety zone and and tie-off reminders

At the base of the Pearman superstructure, plates have been welded across the expansion joints to stabilize any lateral motion

At the east end of the bridge, Scott Stone's guys are building a work platform with a safety rail

Another look at building the work platform

And a couple of last looks at the Ravenel Bridge

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer