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 7, 2006: Unbuilding the base of D-26
and Happy Birthday, Joy

All trips start at the Sea Breeze and a view of T-3, the monument to Test's tenacity of purpose. Today was particularly gloomy - but gloom and doom do not the ABS team stop.

A closer look at T-3: about 1/3 of the right column is gone

The worksite looking west - Cousin Arthur looking over the Pearman and Grace skeletons

and the jack-up barge positioned to work on the winching platform on the Grace

This is a special view of the Grace - Pio's team is at 340' and counting backwards - Mike is working the grapple over on the Grace - doing his surgical removal of roadway. For him today is special - a big happy birthday from us to his mom, Joy

I had a meeting at MUSC and missed the setup and loading - but here are some of the pieces - first is the receiver that Ken set up on the Ravenel base (the little red box at the base of the right column)

and I am parked on the Ravenel rock garden - nice view looking west

The worksite - to the left is the barge with the ignition transmitter, whistle and the rest of the ABS team. In the middle is the receiver and the shock tube ignition line and to the right, is the target: D-26

A closer look at the blast control center

Before ignition

Stills extracted from the video showing shock tube ignition along the river surface and along the top of D-26

Time = 0 msec - shock tube ignition

Time = 33 msec - propagation along the surface and toward the center of D-26

Time = 67 msec

Time = 100 msec - continued shocktube ignition toward the center

Time = 133 msec

Time = 167 msec

Time = 200 msec

Time = 233 msec

Time = 400 msec

Time = 433 msec

Time = 467 msec

Time = 500 msec

Time = 533 msec

Time = 567 msec

Initial explosion

well contained and vertical and lateral debris movement

just smoke (I need to learn what makes the yellow smoke)

a small tsunami wave radiates radially out from D-26 (about 4 - 6")

a little southward wind rapidly dissipates the smoke here

About 0.5 sec later, smoke has virtually dissipated

Inspection by everyone

then home with Ken and Kerry

and another view of T-3 - Steve Testa's demonstration of tenacity of purpose

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer