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 21, 2006: Unbuilding the Grace and Pearman Trusses

We are in Liaocheng China at Liaocheng University. But Sparky is keeping us fed with the ending of the Grace and Pearman unbuilding. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and we will probably have a Thanksgiving Duck. So, for now, we are riding with Sparky to catch the last of unbuilding the Grace and Pearman trusses. I spoke with Michael Hebb and he tells me that Jimmy Grier is back - so I'm not sure if this is Michael or Jimmy (below) biting a piece of the Grace support. In any event, Jimmy masterminded the unbuilding of the Grace segment on the west side of Drum Island. A wonderful time with Jimmy, Richie, Jackie, Michael, Adam and Leon. That day in February was also a double surprise - Tina and their kids arrived from Boston, dead tired - but full of smiles (see bottom photos in the link above).

From the Ravenel - this is the worksite


a closer view


The worksite at the port


From East Bay - The Grace superstructure on the left, Pearman in the middle and the lone Pearman pier at East Bay.


Only a few girders on the Pearman base


Another look from East Bay


and Michael eating away at the support piers


Bite after


bite after nov_21_pearman_026_bite.jpg



Bones from the superstructures


and more bones - waiting to be transported


Loading bones


and the truck for hauling


Manny in the launching position


and some cutting


and more cutting


Chris' 7550 taking a bow


and a bit of rebuilding


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer