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.

July 7, 2006:
Final prep of C-2 and boom

Its almost over for the Cooper River and Town Creek. Today Mickey and his team will fell C-2. After this, a few substructures to go and the two piers next to the Port. After a year of intense action, things are winding down. Jackie and Steve have returned to Boston. Richie has been gone a couple of weeks and life without Richie is not the same. Leon leaves in a week or so. Others have moved to Mississippi and Florida where there is more Testa action. Now its up to Michael, Timmy and the others to keep Mickey and Ken company while Ken, Joe and the others direct the finish.

Mike Grice asked what happens to the debris after Mickey does his thing. Good question that I should have considered. So I sent Ken Canty a note and here his reply:

The concrete is retrieved when the 995 (The Jay-Cashman) goes to work.
The rebar is collected at the same time.  This is why the concrete
looks so brown when excavated.  When excavating, there will be two
barges for debris.  One will hold rebar and the other will be for concrete.

So what is the 995? Ken pointed out that Sparky had photographed it on June 20. If you want to learn more, look at the Jay Cashman spec sheet and the back: Jay Cashman spec sheet back. And if you want to see what Sparky discovered visit the June 20 photo essay. Small world and great questions. Ken, Sparky and Mike have made my day - curiosity is alive and well.

Jonathon is back so we have his superb video and frames

At 12:59:27 we have Ignition

Ignition sequence from video frames
Watch the ignition process climb each column

T = 0.000 sec       T = 0.033 sec

T = 0.067 sec       T = 0.100 sec

T = 0.133 sec       T = 0.167 sec

T = 0.200 sec       T = 0.233 sec

T = 0.267 sec       T = 0.300 sec

T = 0.333 sec       T = 0.367 sec

         T = 0.400 sec         T = 0.433 sec (detonation at the base)

T = 0.467 sec       T = 0.500 sec

T = 0.533 sec       T = 0.567 sec

T = 0.600 sec       T = 0.633 sec

T = 0.667 sec       T = 0.700 sec

T = 0.733 sec       T = 0.767 sec

T = 0.767 sec       T = 0.833 sec

T = 0.867 sec       T = 0.900 sec

T = 0.933 sec       T = 0.967 sec

T = 1.000 sec       T = 1.033 sec

T = 1.067 sec       T = 1.100 sec

T = 1.133 sec       T = 1.167 sec

T = 1.200 sec       T = 1.233 sec

12:59:28 Initial collapse

12:59:30 then lift-down






13:00:10 after the smoke clears -

the end - a classical dental extraction - only the root left with C-1 and Mickey's Copco silently watching.

Mike Nally and Collin Nally on the left with Tina, Samantha, Michael, Stephanie and Joshua - the smiling Hebb family

Happy friends and families (above left to right, Elizabeth, Conner and Collin Nally the Tina and Samantha) and a very happy group of unbuilders (below)

(right to left) Joshua, Art, Stephanie peaking aroung Art's back, Michael, Mike, Conner and Ryan Nally on the way home

Bye Bye cousin Arthur

and Hello - Mickey's drilling team at the Marina

and a closer view

Mickey's limo

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer