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.

December 9, 2006:
Building the Mt. Pleasant Observation Pier

Wow - look at the Mt. Pleasant Observation and Fishing Pier! Who would have guessed that the foundation rests on the Pearman pier substructures. Mickey, Ken and their team unbuilt some of the Peaman substructures, while the jackup barge with Michael and his buddies unbuilt others and cleaned the tops of the substructures. Now ?, the pier constractor has built a new platform complete with new prestressed concrete girders.
Sunset from the pier


A more interesting sunset


The worksite


another view


The paving machine (Bidwell?)


The rebar grid


A closer look at the rebar grid resting on top of the metal base (don't know the proper name for the sheet metal understructure)


and looking back


More of the pier substructure


In the trade - this is known as a crane crossing


The remaining substructures


The walkway to the to-be-built extension of the pier


The worksite barge and Pearman bases


Looking back down the walkway - the concrete floor girders


A typical Sparky art photo - between the girders. Remember when Bob McCabe and his team were unbuilding these girders? Our ironworker acrobats suspended in mid air attaching the cables from the lift bar. Well this is what happens when you rebuild what Bob and his group unbuilt. Nice story.


Another crane crossing


and a better view


and night time sets over the port


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer