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.

May 3, 2006:
A quartet for crane, grapple, shear and diver

This is Manny, Michael, Jackie and Ryan doing their thing. You figure it - how can Michael see what his grapple sees - and having done a bit of scuba in the Cooper River, how can Ryan see 1 ft in front of himself. And then there is Manny - looking for all the hand signals and Jackie - just as blind as Michael and Manny.
This is that I call crane fishing - Manny looking for the big one. Here is Manny and his cap

doing a bit of fishing


This is a crane fish fish

and Jackie

taking a small bite

Here is Michael - eating?

displaying the art of gapple fishing

in the submerged configuration

and Michael, taking a break

while Ryan

prepares to enter the deep

Here is Ryan fishing

with 50 ton test line

the fishing line

Manny's swivel is in place and Jackie and Michael in the ready position

Meanwhile, Mickey's guys are still drilling C-3

Ryan has finished coupling the fishing line to the Grace segment

and Manny lifts

and lifts

a piece of Grace

Michael opens his jaws

and starts to lift

more lifting

and the Big One

finally pulled on the barge by Jackie and Michael

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer