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.
1) Michael and Carlos clearing blast holes (there is probably a better word but Mickey forgot to teach me this part of the vocabulary) by inserting a tube and then turning on compressed air to clear the debris from the hole.
2) Mickey and Ken will load each blast hole, according to their plan. Each blast hole will have a predetermined amount of charge that varies in order to achieve the proper implosion. Since some blast holes will have more dynamite than others, but the blast holes are drilled to the same depth, plastic pipe segments are cut to approximate the length of a single charge. In addition, packets of stemming (crushed rock) are placed between the charge clusters. The stemming absorbs the some of the horizontal shock wave along the axis of the blast hold and retards shot-gun effects and perhaps amplifies the blsat wave perpendicular to the blast hole. After each component, a tapping rod is used to assure that each segment is seated properly at the end of the hole. 3) Manny will be running his elevator - managing Carlos and Michael as the clear tubes as well as for fetch and tote episodes, restocking Ken and Mickey's dynamite, stemming packs, detonators and plastic tubes.
4) Michael Hebb and Richard Simmons will be clearing - Michael with his grapple and Richard with his front end loader
5) Paul will be the symphony conductor today (as usual)
6) Sparky is my alter-ego, photo journalist, building contractor, friend, therapist and just all around great guy.
The supporting cast: Two moms: Debbie Rogers and left, Anna Tully - and the kids: Sarah Tully (dark t-shirt), friend Ashley (Sarah's friend) and Jordan in the foreground
Sarah and Jordan filling bags with stemming with Ashley providing refreshments
The Discovery channel has discovered Ken's kids and friends
Sarah (left), Jordan (right) (Ken's kids) and Ashley (a friend)
Here is the worksite: Manny and his mean red machine on the left, Carlos and Michael suspended beside the left column of T-2, the man basket machine in the middle, for Mickey and Ken and their loading, and Michael Hebb's grapple to the right.
Michael Hebb and what in the trade is knows as a long reach (actually his 1250 has a super long reach))
Here are the essentials: Clearly Michael prepared some of the bags of stemming - or was this the handy work of Jordan, Ashley and Sarah? Which dad - Mickey or Ken?
But who prepared the spacers?
The dynamite: a no brainer - prepared by Dyno Nobel
Mickey with a tub of cylindrical bags of stemming with Ken in the back checking his list (twice, just like Santa)
Michael with the blow tube in the read position while Carlos identifies the correct blast hole. (The reason you see a cluster of holes in some locations is that during drilling the blast holes, you encounter rebar and so back the drill out, and try another location. Sometimes you are lucky and get it right the first time, but without superman and x-ray vision, usually 2 or 3 tries are required).
Carlos checking the blast hole
Carlos getting ready to insert the blow tube into the blast hole
The inserted position - now Michael turns on the compressed air
and out comes a little dust and drilling residue
Then Michael slowly pulls the blow tube back with Carlos guiding
Clearing the next blast hole
Will the real blast hold please identify herself (mumbles Carlos)
Michael inserts the blow tube
In the meantime, Mickey and Ken, with a load of dynamite, plastic tubes as spacers, detonators and bags of stemming
A nice view of Manny's elevator service (for Carlos and Michael), Mickey and Ken heading for the T-2 face.
Starting from the top down - you can see the shock tubes from blast holes already filled and tied in
While Michael and Carlos demonstrate parallel processing - clearing more blast holes
Ken placing an explosive charge with detonator (see the hanging shock tube) into the blast hold
Then using the rod to push the charge to the end of the blast hole
More tamping action
Placing a spacer
and another charge
and pushing them into place
Michael getting ready to blow his horn
while Ken loads another blast hole
inserts a spacer
then the next charge
Inserting a bag of stemming behind the spacer
then inserting another charge
and pushing into place with the tamping rod
Inserting a bag of stemming
and with the tamping rod - pushing it into place
while Michael inserts the blow tube (into a blast hold on the other column
and pushing the tube to the end of the blast hole
Meanwhile on the ground - Manny, Stan, Richard and Paul on the phone
Carlos and Michael demonstrating the fetch and tote procedure - with an arm full of spacers
While Mickey and Ken impatiently wait (I can hear Mickey muttering something that is audible in Singapore
Manny-Ex delivery service
and the handoff - please sign here
Carlos takes a coke break
and Michael follows his lead
Then Carlos presses the down button on Manny's elevator
Note as Mickey and Ken work their way down, they tie in the shock tubes to those above
Here is another part of parallel processing - Michael cleaning up after yesterday
with his short reach CAT
A good view of the worksite - with all parallel processes in action
Richard Simmons is running the front end loader - moving stuff Michael finds
Another good view of the parallel processing
Carlos is off doing something else - and Stan joins Michael
A good view of Manny, Mickey, Michael/Stan and Michael Hebb each doing their own part. Hidden is Richard
and a view with the Ravenel Bridge in the background
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
C. Frank Starmer