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 24, 2006:
Sort of squaring up the Drum Island section of the Grace cantilever

Here is the worksite - with the drilling operation hidden behind T3. At this time, the right angle section attached to the crane is being freed by our iron worker acrobats.

The upper right angle section is being removed

One of our acrobats burning through the vertical beam

Seen in context - to remove the right angle section

After the burn is complete - the right angle section is removed

and leaving the worksite

The next stage will be to partially burn through selected sections of the cantilever segment in preparation for explosive breakup.

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C. Frank Starmer