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 12, 2005:
Pearman progress: jackup barge and roadway removal

What a difference 15 hours makes (its about 7:30 am). Here is the Pearman worksite. There is something about the early morning glow of sunlight that just makes things right. Bobby McCabe's team in the foreground and the elevated jackup barge is in its active configuration (i.e. elevated) in the background

Like a jazz ensemble, Ted is on the concrete cutter, Bobby leading the group, Jackie on the shear and Scott (not shown) on the front end loader - its a bit cold this morning - but the music is addictive.

And something new - the jackup barge in the background in its elevated configuration. (Joe Duffy told me that the Jackup barge was developed during the construction of the Suez canal - to solve the problem of working in shallow water.)

As a reference, here is the jackup barge yesderday afternoon

Here, the platform is in its elevated position, with hammers are working on the pier cap

A little hammer action

a little more hammer action

Ted making a longitudinal cut

with the jackup barge in the background

Here you can see the matrix of roadway segments that Jacking will pickup and move

Ted (not Tad), Jackie and Bobby (hiding)

Last night Kevin was repairing a shear. Here is another view of the angle iron shear blade. Dulled pretty quickly with concrete, but still able to cut rebar which is soft according to Jackie

Jack preparing to remove a section - first hammering along the outer border

Starting to pick up the roadway segment

Then with his shear, lifting it up

and rotating and

and placing it for Scotty

Here is Scotty ready for action

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer