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 27, 2006:
Around the dock

Today was a new composition for Cashman-Testa and continuo - realign one of the jackup barges's legs; transporting the Mammoet beams, preparing the Pearman for next week's blast and P-3, known now as Pain-in-the-Neck

Here is the dock worksite, one of the jackup barges legs

and transporting the top Mammoet beams

Sometimes things become misaligned and in this case, one of the jackup barge's legs needed a chiopractic adjustment. So a new section of tubing was welded into place and a rack added to each side. So the learning link for today is Rack and Pinion gearing - otherwise known as translating rotary motion into linear motion

Here is a view of one of the jackup barge's legs with a section replaced

The pinion that will be attached to the newly realigned tube

Here is the expert, Joe Perrier, who related that it took the several months to get the part from Germany, its place of manufacture

Sparky like looking inside things and here he is looking down the barrel that will hold the jackup leg. The pinions travel down the grooves on either side and on the right, you can see a tooth of the rack gear.

Another view of the jackup barge leg

Meanwhile, out at the Pearman, prep work continues for next weeks blast

Here making a cut to reduce the integrity of the truss structure

and in close quarters

Meanwhile, Michael is working away on P-3

Naming T-3 as tenacity of purpose seems realistic. But because of the high reach required to bring Grace down, I call this Pain-in-the-Neck

Look how much progress Michael has made - compare with the angle in the upper boom above with this one.

and the 1250 sleeping

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer