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 30, 2005: Multiprocessing again - with Bob McCabe's group playing the Pearman, Pio's group playing the Grace and Mickey's group playing D-25. In the background you can see Brad's shear yawning a bit.

Another view with Ted playing his concrete cutter over the 3th vertical support

Brad moves in with his grapple and starts picking up half-roadway segments

then rotates and puts it to sleep behind him

When a section is removed, Ted moves back in with his concrete cutter - just barely visible to the left of the grapple

Now its Richie's turn. While Brad stabilizes the guard rail, Richie cuts the next segment to be removed.

Once the guardrail is removed - Brad starts the next iteration of removing chunks of roadway -

rotates and puts it down

and when finished Ted moves in and starts cutting the next matrix

Here is a last view that shows all the instruments: Ted playing his cutter, Brad making a yawn with his grapple, probably Richie in the micro-CAT, Ted's truck (that provides the water for cooling, and I suppose lubricating the diamond saw blade) and Pio - somewhere.

It is just about time for Mickey's team to drop D-25 - so work stops and everyone becomes a cheerleader

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C. Frank Starmer