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.
I miss Richie Bagan and his smile tonight. He is back in Boston due to a death in his family - so these night photos are for Richie and his family.
First a surprise. A number of the PBC team moved to a new project in Pensacola. Marvin Tallent was one of my professors of building-ology and here is a night photo of a pile driving rig getting ready for work in Pensacola
Driving over the Ravenel Bridge to the worksite
What a difference a year makes. Driving was impossible a year ago - here are a couple of photos from a year ago: The gap between the two halves of the main span - tough to jump over this. Below, you can see the Pearman and Grace in the background. These photos reflect Marvin's opening up channels for me to closely watch the building processes.
and the west approach gap as seen from my bicycle on the Pearman Bridge
Back to today: Meanwhile, the Coleman Recycling Center at the base of the Grace Bridge on the Mt. Pleasant side. It should be obvious that it is night and also not raining.
This is a view of the worksite. The Ravenel bridge on the left and one of the night lights that illuminates the worksite on the right.
Rich had just finished cutting his grid so Jack, Scotty and Rich took a quick break (don't tell Steve) and looked at the magazine and our local star.
Last August, I learned some night photo skills from Stephen SetteDucati - and here are some of the results. The new Ravenel Bridge in the background, Jackie's grapple in the foreground and Grace's skeleton - removed by Pio's team today.
I really enjoy watching Jackie and his surgical approach to roadway removal - here, picking up a slab
and placing it on the roadway
Turning around to get the next one
taking a bite of road
chewing on it a bit
and rotating with an interesting blur
and placing it on top of the first one
Then returning for the next section
Thinking a bit
a nice view of jaws
taking the next bite
Now, turn on your curious eyes. Lewis flys in with his cub
and quicker than you can blink - he is gone - only the trace of his headlights
Lewis comes back for some more. Jackie is positioning them and the blur is Lewis in his cub preparing pushing them down to Scott.
Again - no Lewis - just headlights
and Jack's jaws
Rich moves his saw back to make a center cut along the axis of the roadway
Then like Lewis - Rich is just a blur
WHen he gets to the shoulder, there is an angle iron cap - so its July 4th on the Grace Bridge
Cutting more deeply into the shoulder - only a few pieces of rebar to cut through
Then Rich is a blur again
and now making transverse cuts
a little deeper and here, is cutting through some rebar
and more July 4th .
I have spliced together the photos of Rich and his concrete cutting machine into a short mpeg video (10 Mb). Enjoy and good night
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer