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.

After the blast - The Eddie R moved us over to P-11 where Paul, Mickey and Ken were using a template to guide the underwater drilling.

The challenge is to drill vertical holes into the base of P-11 - which extends out about 5 feet around the visible base. The template is used to align the drilling sleeve - which will drill down about 4 inches. Then another drill bit and drive shaft will be inserted into the sleeve for drilling the deeper hole. Once complete, the inner bit and drive shaft will be removed and the hold loaded with dynamite and stimming and ignition shock tubes.
The Copco does the drilling with the O'Dell brothers managing the drilling.

Here is a group of sleeves - about 5" in diameter

and the carbide teeth that do the drilling

and the level for varying the orientation of the sleeve into a vertical position as it passes through the drilling template (see below)

Paul Achorn and the P-11 template

Ken's drawing of the drilling template

Chris Wakeman, Lewis and James

Lewis, Chris and Derrick (of the O'Dell clan)

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C. Frank Starmer