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 14, 2005:
Early morning Grace roadway transplantation

Joe Duffy has been filling me in on the history of the jack-up barge. Here you can see the hammer picking away on the nearer corner of M-8 Pearman support. To the right, you can see the roots of M-7 and M-6 from work last week and earlier this week.

And also, his calculator has been working overtime. When the roadway is removed, each section is 4' x 10'. Joe has done some back-of-the-envelop calculations and come to the conclusion that if you placed, end to end, all the 4 x 10' segments of harvested roadway - then the 4' sidewalk would extend to I-95!

Here is Pio contributing to this calculation, and moving several segments to the base of the Grace Bridge - with the morning sun in our eyes.

Its difficult to take a photo without catching some or all of the rear view mirror. Here is self image with camera in the mirror

and if I move just a little bit, you can catch Pio with a small small smile as we make our way down the Grace ramp

where the segments are deposited in the to-be-reef depot

then Pio backs up with Cousin Arthur watching

and another view of the back-up exercise from the Pearman

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C. Frank Starmer