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 16, 2006

Acrobats @ work: Gently dropping part of Grace

The worksite - adjacent to the Sea Breeze Marina

Chris and his 7550 holding up elderly Grace

Carlos with the big V and Lewis supervising the big V

Two acrobats: Carlos on the left, Lewis on the right

Acrobats burning

Lewis freeing part of Grace

Two acrobats: Lewis and Carlos

and Lewis burning

Lewis checking it out

and burning

Lewis watching while Carlos burns

and Chris stabilizes Grace

Lewis and Carlos

and Robbie

The last burn

The cable attachment

Gently lifting Grace

slowly up on the right

Then sliding to the left

the up up and away with Grace. Watch a synthesized video from Sparky's photos - Click here

Chris rotating the section

and down


Chris watching

and continuing down

Lewis, Carlos and Robbie ready to start the next section

Our favorite acrobats: Lewis (left) Carlos and Robbie

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer