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 22, 2005:
Pearman Roadway Removal

Overview of roadway removal and blast preparations

At the same time, Testa is hammering away at the Pearman roadway (look at the top photo for orientation). Two surgical tools are used - a hammer and a shear. In this case, the shear serves two purposes: to cut through the rebar and then to flip the concrete segment

Here is the hammer at work

Then the shear is used to reach over the edge of the roadway segment and flip it backward

First raising it a bit

and now the roadway segment is almost vertical

and then easing it back down on the flip side

and finished

Like two cats passing in the day, its time to switch tools - and back to the hammer and so the process repeats itself: Breaking a line in the road, then cutting the rebar, flipping it and removing the segment.

Each time I return from the Mt Pleasant side, I always like to check the Colemen Recycling Center. Note the height of the pile of rebar. Nice work.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer