A hundred and sixty-six years later, the railroad--now Amtrak--is again at work altering the rock face below Promenade Hill. This morning, Richard K. Wallace submitted this report to Gossips, along with photographs and a video.
Men on a Mountain
Track repair at NYC's Penn Station is creating the "summer of hell" for some Amtrak riders. In Hudson, it's the summer of hell for nesting birds and other little creatures nestled in the trees and bushes along the cliff and rugged rock face just below Parade Hill, at the foot of Warren Street.
There, a crew of chain-sawing tree men, climbing and repelling from the top of the hill, have begun clearing all the vegetation along the full length of the ridge, above the railroad tracks below. Across the tracks, a ground crew retrieves the falling limbs, branches, and brush, feeding everything into a mulch-making chipper.
This noisy, daring operation began yesterday and is expected to continue for six weeks until the entire escarpment is cleared of all vegetation, soil and loose rock—this according to the hard hats on the job. Once completed, the bare surface will be covered with shotcrete, a process that involves applying a kind of mortar mix onto the rock face using a hose, pneumatically projected at high velocity, usually reinforced by conventional steel rods, steel mesh, and/or fibers.
Gone from view forever will be the Cambrian shale, argillite, and quartzite geologic formation, the foundation of the Parade Hill escarpment, first exposed when this Hudson railway cut sometime in the early 1800s. Gone too will be one more green nesting ground and safe refuge for all manner of Hudson's beloved winged, furry, and who-knows-what other manner of creatures, flora, and fauna.
As if in lamentation of this gross alteration of the landscape of the 1795 "Proprietors" grant, this morning a mixed gathering of distressed birds perched on the hill were doing their chirping, singing best to angrily protest the workmen, chain saws, and chippers below. Sad.
COPYRIGHT 2017 CAROLE OSTERINK
Gratitude to Richard K. Wallace for this report