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 30, 2006:
Marine life in unexpected places

While Mickey has been doing his implosions and the iron workers have been doing their unbuilding - what is happening in the Cooper River? Remember last fall when we explored building artifical reefs outside Charleston Harbor? Well today, I thought some of Sparky's photos provided a nice lesson in marine life. More specifically, about oxidation and the bioavailability of oxygen in water.

Of course, everything starts with Pat and the Capt. Gary. Pat pushes folks around and positions them into their worksite locations. Actually Lewis, with Pushy, has his own role in keeping folks in their worksite locations.

This is the fishing rig - usually Manny is driving the crane

and here is some of the harvest shoing marine growth as well as rust. Oxygen @ work!

Inside a rusting box girder - more signs of oxygen working within the Cooper River. Oxidation is the name of the game. Also stuff (algae?) growing on the steel.

But look what is growing at a steroid rate. Here is early marine life growing on the Grace and Pearman girders

more stuff growing on the girders while they were experiencing baptism

and here is Sparky at his best. A study of the Ravenel Bridge with Steve Testa's framing the bridge and the bow of Pat's tug.

Another view

and a final view

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C. Frank Starmer