Tuesday, March 23, 2010

With a Carload of Salt

Anyone going down to the waterfront is aware of the salt pile by the deep-water dock. In the past, the salt came in on the river by barge and was carried away by truck to various municipalities in the Hudson Valley. I can recall more than once being awakened at 3 or 4 in the morning by little convoys of dump trucks from Dutchess County towns and cities, making their stealthy way down Allen Street (NOT a truck route) to the waterfront in the dead of a winter night.

This year there have been reports that, for the first time, none of the salt on our waterfront has come in by barge but all of it has been trucked in--over Hudson streets--and then trucked out again. Now, at the end of one winter and months before the beginning of the next, there are reports of trucks bringing more salt to the waterfront. One witness estimates that 25 to 30 loads of salt have been delivered by truck in the past couple of days.

The picture shows a truck leaving the deep-water dock this morning at approximately 7:45 a.m. Unable to get out along Front Street because of the construction there related to the new wastewater treatment plant, the driver found his way back to Third Street/9G along the south side of the old L&B building. Witnesses say that this route past L&B is regularly used by trucks believed to be carrying salt.


  1. Great investigative work, Carole!

    It was on March 5, 2008 that I photographed what may have been the last time salt was unloaded at Hudson's deep water port from barges.

    Since then, I have heard tell that even barges constituted a new use for salt transport, ships having been the preferable means earlier on. (I'd be very interested to learn about this claim from anyone who knows more.)

    One might even inquire whether a barge is a permitted use at all for salt transport hereabouts, considering that the Hudson is a fresh water system everywhere north of the "salt front" (near Poughkeepsie).

    I do not know if the barges I photographed a year ago were covered or not, which may have been all that was required, but I always keep in mind the partial sinking of a barge at our port only a few years ago.

    T. O'Connor

  2. So much for the claim that this activity is related to any "water-dependent activity."

    This pretty much proves once and for all that Holcim is ginning up unnecessary truck activity to establish a fake baseline of traffic to put pressure on the City. There are a million other places where salt could be stockpiled.

    Moreover, it puts the lie to the Mayor and City attorneys contention that an alternate route through L&B is impossible. Already, without any improvements to the property, trucks are using it as such. (Personally, however, I think there should be no trucks at all down to this area -- get them out of the Bay as well as the City's streets.)

    I also hear that one of the outgoing trucks was traced all the way back to Massachusetts. So this is no longer either water-dependent or filling local needs.