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 8, 2006:
Unbuilding continues

From Singapore, it looks like Charleston is having its share of rain and clouds. But Sparky got out to survey the action around the Grace and Pearman Sites. Fishing going on around the Grace site as well as Demolition Dynamics preparing to drop the west Grace superstructures. Mickey's team is drilling something with the John Henry while Nugget and his acrobat friends are unbuilding the Pearman cantilever section.
The day must start with a view of P-3. It is finished except for Mickey's part

from the side

Here is the Ravenel bridge and Grace / Pearman worksite

I think this is Carlos Perez of flag planting fame (after the great Mammoet lowered the Grace main span), cutting a section of the recently harvested Pearman

More cutting.

from different approaches

Meanwhile, this looks like Nugget - high on his trapeze

While over at the east Grace worksite, just fishing for underwater sections of Grace

At the west Grace worksite, this looks like Oscar and one of his team in the elevator

and to the left - unbuilding the Pearman continues with Nugget and his fellow acrobats on top and Carlos below

Getting ready to lift a section of the Pearman

Lifting it up

and lowering it

on to the waiting barge below

Here is a two burner unbuild

Now the crossbeam is free

Is Richard driving the crane?

More cutting on the Pearman

until the L is free

then lift

and lower to the barge

Michael's shiney new machine

And on the barge, Carlos is busy unbuilding harvested pieces of the Pearman

And here is Mickey's team, drilling a substructure with the John Henry

Carlos burning

and home by Sharon's water taxi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer