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 14, 2007: No more Pearman piers - T-2 implosion

Riding across the Ravenel Bridge with Sparky at 3:02 pm


The worksite: Grace pier to the left (where Michael will punch a hole and remove the inner shell), Manny's crane with Manny in the driver's seat, T-2 behind him and the Ravenel Bridge in the background.


Stacked containers as a blast barrier on the left


Ken and Randy up for a last check of the setup




Click image for full display.
Here is the frame by frame sequence of ignition and detonation

T = 0 msec          T = 33 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_091.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_092.jpg

T = 66 msec          T = 100 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_093.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_094.jpg

T = 133 msec          Note the shock tube track from the columns to the cross member  T = 166 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_095.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_096.jpg

T = 200 msec          T = 233 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_097.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_098.jpg

T = 266 msec          T = 300 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_099.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_100.jpg

T = 333 msec          T = 366 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_101.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_102.jpg

T = 400 msec          T = 433 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_103.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_104.jpg

T = 533 msec          Note shock tube ignition at the cap and detonation at the base of the left column T = 566 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_105.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_106.jpg

T = 466 msec          T = 500 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_107.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_108.jpg

T = 600 msec          T = 633 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_109.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_110.jpg

T = 666 msec          T = 700 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_111.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_112.jpg

T = 733 msec          T = 766 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_113.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_114.jpg

T = 800 msec          T = 833 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_115.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_116.jpg

T = 866 msec          T = 900 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_117.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_118.jpg

T = 933 msec          T = 966 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_119.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_120.jpg

T = 1000 msec          T = 1033 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_121.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_122.jpg

T = 1066 msec          T = 1100 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_123.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_124.jpg

T = 1133 msec          T = 1166 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_125.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_126.jpg

T = 1200 msec          T = 1233 msec

jan_14_T2_frame_127.jpg jan_14_T2_frame_128.jpg

Shock tube ignition (see right column about 1/3 up from the base)


Initial blast: note the lateral dispersion of debris on both the left and right columns


And compare with Friday's T-1 blast where the right column was wrapped with chain link fence
and the left column was unwrapped


and then collapse of T-2


with smoke


but not much else









After close


From the dock - no T-2, only blast barriers. Next job, Mickey and Ken will bring out the Copco and start drilling vertical blast holes to remove the base and sub-structures. jan_14_T2_062_after_barrier.jpg

Going home for dinner with Sparky


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer