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.

June 1, 2006 Aerial photos from SCDOT

The changing view of the Cooper River:
To the left of the Ravenel (right to left) are Pearman piers C-1, C-2 and C-3 and the base of C-4. To the right of the Pearman piers are Grace piers P-5 base, P-6 with the interior unbuilt, Timmy whacking away at P-7. Between P-7 and C-2 is probably Manny, fishing for Pearman cantilever fragments (seen in the water between P-1 and P-2). Then P-8 on one side of the ship channel, P-9 on the other side of the channel, P-10 with its unbuilt interior and the P-11 base. Then P-12 with Mickey's team drilling.

Looking from Mt. Pleasant

The cantilever sections at the Sea Breeze Marina

Looking from Meeting St to East Bay and over the port. What a difference a year makes

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C. Frank Starmer