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.

November 12, 2005:
Waking up at the Port

Charleston may be just waking up but these guys have been at it continuously. Here is this morning's view of Stonehenge, minus the column felled yesterday.

Today is cleanup and on to the next column. Michael cleaning his 1250.

The morning worksite. Gone is the column, gone are the column fragments,

gone is the bridge and gone is the ramp

and here is the carpet leaving.

the last of the hammer work to remove the roots of the columns

and final cutting of the buried rebar with a short video (3Mb mpg)

So its time to start the 1250 and hammer away at the next column

and set up the water system

with all players in their place - unbuilding the next column starts. To watch these guys in action, I took photos about every 20 sec and stiched them together to make a video (8 Mb mpg).

Early morning light adds a warm glow to everything - up close

and at a distance

The cleaned worksite from yesterday

Meanwhile - a last look at the Drum Island cantilevered section of the Pearman - scheduled to disappear Tuesday

and a last look at the work site from East Bay

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer