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 27, 2005:
East Bay and Pearman Girder Removal

Yesterday, Sparky saw the removal of the next set of Pearman girders.

and placing them on top of the next section

So this morning I went out to check the progress from East Bay St. Here is a quiet East Bay - work in progress removing roadway on the Grace and removing concrete girders from the Pearman.

Looking north up East Bay, you can see that the Grace roadway removal has made it half way across the north bound lane of East bay.

Looking west from the Ravenel bicycle / jogging lane - a Grace(ful) skeleton

Meanwhile girder lifting action is going on at the port entrance. Here is the crane and a shear preparing to lift one end of the girder.

After the rebar is cut (and burned) a little lifting action from the crane.

more lifting

then rotate the girder to rest on the Pearman roadway

the lower the girder a bit

and lower to the girder resting place

and remove the shackles - and so the next iteration starts

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C. Frank Starmer