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.

February 2, 2006:
Unbuilding the base of Pearman pier D-24

After loading is complete, here is Ken setting up the receiver and thinking about connecting it to the ignition line

and then connecting

D-24 is ready - you can see the red iginition lines like a day's beard growing out of the top of the D-24 base

Here is the ignition sequence - single frames from the video. With your curious eyes, watch the top of the pier.

T = 0 msec

T = 67 msec: shock tubes light up on each end

T = 133 msec: and each link propagates toward the center

T = 200 msec

T = 567 msec: Note the rising water around the perimeter

T = 33 msec

T = 100 msec: ignition propagating toward the center

T = 167 msec: first signs of detonation

T = 533 msec: increasing detonation

T = 600 msec

Sparky saved the day again with a wide angle view of the implosion

My high resolution images - I was slow on the trigger. Here you can see the post ignition upward movement of water around the pier.

which rapidly dissipates

When its all over - the guys on the Captain Gary pick us up and take us home

and the Captain Gary

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C. Frank Starmer