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.

January 4, 2006:
Around East Bay - not much remains

I don't know what our Testa and Cashman friends had for holiday food but the work over the past week is simply dramatic. Here is the story between Hanover St to East Bay to Town Creek

First here is the view from Hanover St. No Pearman ramp and only a stub of the Grace ramp.

Here is the Grace stub on the left and clear sailing on the right

Looking across East Bay - our Pearman monument and the Grace and Pearman cantilever trusses

The Grace stub - about 6 ft high

Looking at the Sea Breeze and the Grace and Pearman trusses

From the Sea Breeze dock, the Grace cantilevered truss and an excavator on the jack-up barge breaking down the Pearman cantilever pier

A closer view of the jackup barge and excavator. A bit of the old and a bit of the new (the Ravenel Bridge in the background).

and a last look at the Grace, Pearman, Ravenel ensemble

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C. Frank Starmer