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 11, 2005:
Working down the Pearman and Grace ramps

Early morning and Bob McCabe, Jackie and Ted are already at it - the worksite

Jackie with his shear in the biting position

The bases of the Pearman supports will become the foundation of the Mt. Pleasant observation pier - a before look

From below - an early morning view of the last two girder sections of the Pearman ramp

and a view from the southern side

and a view from underneath the Pearman roadway

Walking over to the Grace - here is Jackie in his launching position

and a view of the Mt. Pleasant observation foundation

Looking over the side, there is the little Testa that could - pushing a barge with Ken, Phillip and Bret - on their way to load D-27

and soon, walking up the Grace ramp, the worksite

with Speedy cutting a pair of girders and Richie cautiously looking on

and a pull from Roy and his excavator

and the girder pair is slowly removed

onto the roadway

and finally resting on the roadway

Looking back at the Pearman - nice sunrise and reflections

with Ted (not Tad) setting up for concrete cutting

and Pio smiling -

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C. Frank Starmer