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.
Joe is unbuilding the box girders while
Here is Chris Wakeman and fellow acrobats are taking on the Grace superstructure
The remaining Grace truss and temporary support. Manny is holding it all together
Nice view of the Grace skeleton, Manny's crane and a lonely Pearman pier
To the left - you see the support cables to Manny's crane and an acrobat in disguise, cutting one of the interior cross members
A closer view
and Carlos on the left, making a parallel cut. You can always tell Carlos because he wears a white hard hat (but Paul does also).
4th of July on Dec 15th
About a year ago, Nugget was demonstrating the 6 major ironworker acrobat position. Here is Carlos in position 4
This looks like Nugget in position 0
and Stan in the getting ready position
With both sides cut - Manny takes over, slowly lifting
Did you ever think about Manny's job. He sits in the cab, with baseball cap in position, looking up and using fly by wire - lifts these sections while nagivating structural obstacles.
Carlos and Stan and Nugget maintain the communication - but, watching Manny work is really something!
Now clear of all the obstacles
and on its way down
and gently laying it down
Down and now decoupling and the next stage of unbuilding. Paul (you can tell by his white hat and his white shirt) is pleased
Our ground team
removing the cables
and Manny moves his rig back to the top
where the support cables are attached
by our acrobats
and a Sparky art photo looking up the boom
Ready for taking up the slack
and back to cutting
A view of cutting on both sides
Carlos starting his cut
and not sure who this is
A good view of the cross piece stabilized by Manny
Carlos making the final cut
Manny navigating again and then lifting the section
nd slowly rotating over the top
and to the left
to the left
all clear and now down
and down to the ground
The stress on various Grace members is showing. Here the base is cut in order to reduce the stress on that section - enabling our acrobats to remove a front cross-member without movement from the back section being transferred to the front.
The other side
and an overview
Another Sparky art photo - simply wow!
where Michael and his buddies are working on the excavators
and a hydraulic hammer
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer