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.

October 3, 2006: SCDOT Aerial Views of Unbuilding

Every 2 months, SCDOT acquires an aerial view of the unbuilding and provides us with a unique view from above. Sparky, Brian and Mickey provide us with ground level and water level photos. But the contribution from SCDOT (Julie and Creta and Larry Workman who flys and photographs ) provides a different perspective. Thanks!
Here is Cousin Arthur - mostly alone now. What a change over the past 10 months! Here is the view from

December 1 2005

dec 01 ravenel

and October 3, 2006


Mission control is at the intersection of Huger St and East Bay and across the street you can see what is left of the PBC control center.


Here is the J. Cashman, the 995, doing cleanup. Note the two barges to the left - and the 995 snout fishing on the bottom right. Is that Pat and his tug keeping everything aligned?


A good look at the 995 dropping a load into the adjacent barge.


Another view of the 995 fishing and someone doing the fetching and toting of debris from one barge to the other barge


Here are the remaining Grace foot prints on the Mt. Pleasant side along with progress on the observation and fishing pier


A closer look at progress on building the observation pier


Back on the Charleston side - a view of the work on the remaining Pearman (foreground) and Grace (background) trusses.


From above the Sea Breeze Marina - and Mickey's new office


Here Michael is fishing for debris and Stan setting up for driving some piles at the far end of the observation pier.


Work around the Grace substructure


A better view


A view of the worksite on the north side of the Ravenel Bridge - with work on the Grace substructure in the foreground and in the background, the 995 cleanup. A very interesting shadow of the stay cables on the water surface


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer