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 10, 2006: The last of the Pearman girders

The worksite - with the temporary Pearman supports removed


One of the Pearman sections spanning between the concrete pier and the temporary support


A recently lowered pier cap section


Looking head on


The skeleton of the temporary support base and cables. The temporary support columns are to the right


Residue - old (the Pearman edge girder) and new (the temporary supports)


One of the two 2-b-removed piers by Mickey - with the bearing still in place and the Grace support in place


Sparky art: Looking up Manny's boom


The cable rigging of Manny's machine


One of the Pearman splice plates


Unbuilt temporary support


Pearman pin at the bearning (I think)


Now for unbuilding the last of the Grace structure


and the Marion Square side show


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer