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 7, 2006 Unbuilding Grace

Pio, Richie, Roy and Steve are it today. They are backing their way down the Mt. Pleasant side of the Grace Bridge and continuing to build the sidewalk to I-95 with Grace roadway segments

The Grace worksite

Walking up the Grace ramp - here comes Pio - moving some road segments to the Coleman bone yard. Additional segments for either building an artifical reef or making a sidewalk / bicycle path to I-95

Further up the Grace ramp, you can see the jackup barge on Drum Creek. You will have to turn your curious eyes on to see the jackup barge in the left photo

Looking west - some wooden beams to form a work surface can be seen

Meanwhile, back at the work, here is Roy - picking up small I-beams between the floor girders

Richie has a neat broom - a 6 foot beam held in the jaws of his micro-machine

Here he is sweeping

After the roadway is clean, Steve brings in his concrete cutter - first making longitudinal cuts

and then transverse cuts

Time for a short coffee break - the team - Pio, Roy and Richie (minus Steve).

Pio, pushing some reef transplant candidates.

And a surprise. A bottle of ventage wine from the Monsini family - prepared according to old Italian customs, free of sulfites and preserved by the Monsini clan of Brockton MA.

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C. Frank Starmer