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.

March 8, 2006:
Sparky writes A Farewell to Grace

Richie is not only the ace cutter, but watch him operate his grapple

Richie grappling

More grappling

Pio watching the duet for grapple and shear

Richie and Pio - a very good duet

Richie and his jaws

? and the shear


Uncoupling a piece of grace - Chris Dangerfield (left) and Charles Spires (right)

Richie in his other guise - cutting Grace's base

More cutting

Cutting an the sun says goodbye

a flying piece of Grace's base

Pio on an inspection tour

Dale Earnhardt (Steve Demello in disguise) at work

Pulling Grace's base from the barge

Pulling a piece of Grace

Chewing a bit

and depositing what is left over

Day's end

from a different angle

and a final farewell to Grace (Sparky adds a nice touch)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer