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: The Pearman pier an tenacity of purpose

Problem solving requires persistence - and as Charlie Brown would say, "tenacity of purpose". Nothing demonstrates this more than the Pearman pier on the edge of Drum Island that supported the cantilever section. As we left for unbuilding D-24, the sun was saying hello and we were passing the port truss supports - yet to test tenacity of purpose

Looking left, at exactly 7:25:59 we started coming around the Grace truss and the stubborn Pearman pier

At 7:35:06 (after dropping off some of the guys on Drum Island), the stubborn pier

7:35:17 with the hammer working away on the left column

7:35:38 - hammering in full swing

7:36:01 - a display of tenacity of purpose

11:51:51 We are on our way back from loading and imploding D-24

11:52:50 The left column is no more

11:53:15 Compare the left column here with the 7:35:17 image. This is tenacity of purpose.

The year (sort of) in review:

December 12, 2005: in pristine form

January 1, 2006:

January 7, 2006:

January 21 2006:

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C. Frank Starmer