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 21, 2005:
Pio Monsini, Day Superintendent - a man with more skills than I can count

Pio is man in motion - a working supervisor - always thinking, always concerned, always inspiring, always directing, and ocassionally smiling. Here is a short photo essay of Pio in action: Pio thinking (while a ship passes under the Pearman work site) and when he is not thinking he is directing using his multi-mode communicators: mobile phone in this right hand and air horn in the left (to signal the barge guys) and mouth in the middle

Pio explaining the game plan to the team: SCDOT, HDR, TY Lin etc -

Pio's hidden skill: tooth extraction (from the expansion joint)

Pio as a detective - even after extracting the tooth (just in front of Mike's left foot), what is holding the expansion plates in place?

Everyone wants a discussion with Pio - what is the next surprise?

Pio has a bit of magic and here is doing the impossible - walking on the underside of a road without falling up

Even tied down - Pio is talking and investigating and making a strategy

Pio cleaning up after everyone else

and Pio can actually smile

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer