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.

September 3 2005:
Pearman Superstructure Preparation

As roadway is removed from the Pearman bridge that spans Town Creek, there is less downward stress on the supports. Consequently, the support might have a tendancy to rise vertically, placing a significant new stress on the pins that tie the steel superstructure to the supporting concrete structure.

Here is the end of the Pearman over Drum Island - and work platform for securing the end of the Pearman superstructure

A closer view of the work

On the left you can see a pair of vertical channels with two horizontal angle iron brackets. On the right, the guys are preparing to add the two horizontal angle iron brackets

Preparing to weld (with your curious eyes, you can see the welding rod in his right hand)

About 30 min later - last weld on the top bracket

Cleaning the weld - but the big question for me is what is the purpose of this addition?

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer