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 10, 2006: Unbuilding a Pearman bearing

Last Wednesday, C-2 (Pearman) had two bearings while C-1 was empty.

Today Sparky watched the unbuilding of the left bearing on C-2

Both the left and right bearings

Another view

Meanwhile, Mickey's team is using the John Henry for more vertical drilling.

a closer view

Now the hard part - cutting the bearing loose from the pier cap

Stan is doing the burning while Carlos is keeping the process organized and overseeing all the bits and pieces required to safely remove the bearing structure.

Manny stabilizes the bearing while Stan cuts through the base




with a crowd of onlooking as the drifted by

more burning

On the barge are other pieces - some with a bit of growth from their underwater home

while others never touched the water

Finally the bearing is free

and Manny starts the lowering process.



almost on the barge -but some rotation

then lower

tilting into the sleeping position

closer to sleep

and down

A good view of the pin

and C-2 without a bearing

The worksite after

and on the Capt Gary (or Eddie R) - Manny, Stan, Scott and Carlos

and a view from Mt Pleasant

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer