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 20, 2006:
Looking around as the end nears

Lots of small projects going on with the unbuilding. Here is the base of the foundation structure that will stabilize the Grace truss section while they unbuild it.

And here is a view of the stabilizer already attached to the truss

On the Mt. Pleasant side, work continues on building the observation pier. But gone is the roadway to the Grace.

Looking toward the new condo complex - in March when I left, there was nothing here except placing the pilings

Now look at Grace's feet sticking out of the water

A closer look - Cleanup continues around the shipping channel and a grapple in the ready position.

Hmmm - here is Michael's 1250 with a grapple connected. The idea was to pull up the each of Grace's feet. But the 80 ton load was a bit of a surprise. So its innovation time with Michael (Testa), Ken (Cashman) and Mickey (Advanced Blasting Services). Stay tuned.

And progress on the observation pier

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C. Frank Starmer