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 5, 2006: Blowing the P-12 substructure

It all started very simply - I was enjoying my morning. Then Sparky phoned and said that Mickey's team would blow P-12 at 3pm. I was hooked. There are many photos and a good story - but here is the start.

On the way out - some familiar landmarks and friends: Cousin Arthur

Michael and his 1250 and P-something

On the barge - Manny, Jackie and Leon, fishing for Pearman segments

and a better view of Leon (playing the grapple) and Jackie (playing the shear)

And the team

James Whitten

Ken, Mickey and James (of the O'Dell clan)

All purpose Lewis

and a surprise from Sparky - Mickey and myself, with Ken in the background checking the transmitter.


Ignition (from Mickey's camera - what timing!)

and sequential still photos. About 2/sec. See below for the ignition sequence from the video frames.

Ignition Sequence (single video frames)

T = 0 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

T = 0.467 sec    T = 0.733 sec

T = 1.367 sec    T = 1.700 sec

T = 2.033 sec    T = 2.367 sec

T = 2.700 sec    T = 3.033 sec

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer