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 19, 2006:
Mickey disappears another substructure

From halfway around the world, I'm disoriented. This is the current active worksite with C-3 on the left and Michael's high-boy 1250 whacking away at P-9

And for orientation, our reference photo with pier labels

Timmy with his low-boy whacking away at P-10

The P-7 blast site - shock tubes in place and ready to blow

Mickey's John Henry ready to work on the Grace pier that was repaired in the late 50s - P-6. The John Henry will dive onto P-6 and drill from on top of the pier cap.

Now its 3 pm (14:57:12 by Sparky's camera) and the before

Ignition sequence

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











Now to get back to work, Pat on the left with the Capt. Gary is positioning the barge near C-3

and the John Henry is getting set up to drive onto the P-6 cap for some serious drilling of the platform. It will be interesing to see what happens to the pylon supports under the concrete cap.

from a different perspective

This looks like the Grace P-8 and partial P-9 on the left and the Pearman C-1 footing in the foreground with C-2 and C-3 in the background.

A last view of the worksite (P-8 and P-9 with Michael's high reach arm hammering away)

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C. Frank Starmer