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:
Preparing for the Mt Pleasant viewing deck

The worksite about 8am this morning. Chris and his 7550, Jack hammering away at a Pearman support and Bob, not feeling too well. If anyone knows a sure cure for lower back disc problems - holler (seriously)

Walking under the Pearman ramp - here is a view of Jack (foreground) and Michael (in the backgroud) both reducing the supports down to the red marks. This will for the foundatino of the Mt. Pleasant observation pier

A view of Jack hammering away on the right side of the pier cap

And Michael, doing the same about 4 or 5 piers out into the river

Another view of both Jack, Michael and Chris (in his heated 7550 cab)

Looking under the Pearman ramp

Here is a view of Jack from above

and Chris and his 7550

Time for a coffee break - with the hammer in the rest position.

Here is a photo of Bob, Chris, Jack and Michael - can you find them?

Turns out that Jack and Mike are synchronized - coffee on the barge.

You can tell its Michael because he wears an orange Testa jacket - just like everyone else.

Another view of Michael's orange jacket and reddish pfd

waiting for the little Testa tug that could - to reposition the barge

Repositioning is sometimes a slow process - but with Testa, slow and steady wins the race.

A nice view of the Pearman Cooper River span

After visiting Pio, Richie, Steve and Roy - Jackie is back hammering away

And no visit to the worksite is complete without looking at the Coleman Blvd. recycling center. Here you can see the bundle of extracted rebar (near the center) as well as concrete roadway segments awaiting transplantation.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer