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: Removing roadway segments

Watching from the Grace Bridge, here Pio, Michael, complete with his CAT 345 grapple and surgical skills, Jim with his forklife and superb driving skills, uproot each segment and transport it to the base of the bridge for recycling

. Click for a video segment(15 Mb)

Getting ready:

placing the grapple under the segement in order to take a small bite

Next, Michael rotates the segment into a vertical position

and completes the bite. Michael then turns around and places the segment on Jim's forklift

Here he is rotating his 345 with a concrete segment in his grapple

He then lowers the segment

Gently putting it to sleep

Later Jim approaches the segment from the left

and Michael lifts it enough for the forks to support the roadway segment.

Then its off to the recycling area at the base of the bridge.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

C. Frank Starmer