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 9, 2007: Clean-up and Blast Preparations for T-1

Here is the port worksite - T-1, Manny's crane and the lone Grace pier


Here is the Ravenel Bridge today


and here is the situation on December 6, 2005 - just before blasting the Drum Creek main span


Lots of cleanup. Richard Simmons is moving stuff from here to there


and here is Sparky art - T-2, T-1 and the East Bay pier


A view with the setting sun


Mickey's guys are going to set the charges for the T-1 base area and wrap the vertical columns with chain link fence to retard lateral movement debris. Probably only the lower half will be charged with the upper half simply falling and then Michael with his hammer and Jimmy with his grapple will unbuild the upper half


Lots of chain link fence


Another view of the worksite


Here is Jimmy grappling for something


An inside look at Jimmy


Then the shipping containers will be placed between T-1 and the Sea Breeze Marina - again contain lateral movement of debris


Richard here performs the up, up and away protocol - this is the up phase


and more of the up phase


Then the away phase


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer