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 24, 2006: The Pearman superstructure says bye-bye

Sparky is back and on the job. Here is today's blast of the west Pearman superstructure with Cousin Arthur looking on from behind and a submerged section of Grace watching from in front.

A new member of the team - Sparky's daughter, Charlotte

A segment of the Grace superstructure looking on - waiting for Jackie and Manny to pull it out of the river

Ignition sequence

T = 0 sec     T = 0.033 sec

T = 0.067 sec     T = 0.100 sec

T = 0.133 sec     T = 0.167 sec

T = 0.200 sec     T = 0.233 sec

T = 0.267 sec     T = 0.300 sec

T = 0.333 sec     T = 0.367 sec

T = 0.400 sec     T = 0.433 sec

T = 0.767 sec     T = 1.100 sec

T = 1.433 sec     T = 1.767 sec

T = 2.100 sec     T = 2.433 sec

T = 2.767 sec     T = 3.100 sec

T = 3.433 sec     T = 3.767 sec

T = 4.100 sec     T = 4.433 sec

T = 4.767 sec     T = 5.100 sec

T = 5.433 sec     T = 5.767 sec

Still Frames: Ignition

If you look at the bottom of C-1 (right pier) you will see fire at the base. The day before, Sparky captured the cluster of "left over" shock tube segments which were joined together at the base - this was the basis of the fire at the base of the pier.


A gradual descent

Half way to the Cooper River

Almost there

Touchdown and Spash

Its all over - nice work Oscar!

From Gary Eaton and his view from the banks of the Cooper River. Watch the base of the superstructure as it sort of slides down the space between C-1 and C-2.

After the dance - Sparky watches the sun set behind Cousin Arthur and our unbuilding sites (2 Mb mpg video)

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer