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: The changing view of the Cooper River

Sparky is out of town and I am needing a bridge fix. So I thought I would try to find photos of the Ravenel Bridge with the Pearman and Grace Bridges in the background. The idea is to show the changing look of the Cooper River as sections of the Grace and Pearman Bridges were removed.

March 7, 2004: An early photo from the S. C. Aquarium - when the Ravenel mainspans were started

July 21, 2004: Here is the first photo I made from the river - during construction of the Ravenel Bridge -

Here are a few aerial shots taken just before the opening of the Ravenel Bridge.

July 12, 2005: Four days before opening the Ravenel Bridge

From the Mt. Pleasant side

and with Charleston in the background

July 17, 2005: And an aerial shot the day after opening the Ravenel Bridge

August 20, 2005: At the end of a survey trip with Ken Canty. The completed Ravenel Bridge and the mostly untouched Grace and Pearman Bridges. You can see two excavators on the west side of the Pearman main span.

January 9, 2006: After removal of the Pearman roadway

February 22, 2006: Before lowering the Pearman main span

February 22, 2006: After lowering the main span

March 1, 2006: Before lowering the Grace main span

March 2, 2006: After lowering the Grace main span

June 7, 2006: After removal of all the Pearman and Grace cantilever sections.

July 26, 2006: After dropping all the Pearman piers

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C. Frank Starmer