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 5, 2006:
Unbuilding the Grace Bridge - a family affair

For Pio, unbuilding the Grace Bridge is a family affair. His mom, Grace, was born in 1910 - so she would have been about 20 when the Grace Bridge was built. Pio has 11 brothers and sisters - a large family, just like the Grace Bridge - large enough to handle the 1930s traffic between Mt. Pleasant and Charleston. So when the time to unbuild Grace arrived, Pio volunteered his team to unbuild Grace. His team is over half way now as seen in this view of the worksite.

And his team - Speedy

Richie Bagen - who with Michael Hebb, Jack Foley and Bob McCabe are my Professors of Unbuilding

Roy Delpriete - taking over the grapple for Brad.

and picking up sections of concrete roadway

From here, unbuilding is all down hill

Pio is doing the fetching and toting of roadway segments - building Joe Duffy's sidewalk to I-95 - here backing up hill to move more concrete sections to the reef transplant staging area

and a smile from Pio

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C. Frank Starmer