Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Bridge Not Taken

Tonight the Common Council will be voting on a resolution authorizing the mayor to seek the transfer of easements for the Ferry Street Bridge to the City of Hudson and to apply for a Strategic Transportation Enhancement Program grant to demolish the current bridge and install a new one. Seventy years ago, the Common Council was asked to approve another action having to do with bridges that cross the railroad tracks to the waterfront. Back then there were two bridges: the one that carried Ferry Street over the tracks and another that carried Fleet Street, the continuation of Partition Street west of Front Street, across the tracks. This item appeared in the Hudson Evening Register for October 8, 1942.

The Common Council did not meet last night in special session, as scheduled. The meeting was canceled after a caucus of the members, and the matters for which the session had been called will come up probably at the coming regular meeting.
The New York Central Railroad Co. had requested the city's permission to abandon their Fleet street bridge, which spans the tracks that parallel the riverfront, and also seeks permission to elevate the platform of the Ferry street bridge, which spans the railroad tracks a short distance south of the Fleet street bridge.
The railroad company seeks these changes, claiming that it is in the interest of safety in carrying freight materials.
As the abandonment and removal of the Fleet street bridge would require a dead-end to that street, it is believed that an amendment or change of charter is involved, and because of this the matters were left for a later decision after the legal technicalities have been smoothed out.

1 comment:

  1. Two simple questions: do we know anything about the condition of the Ferry Street Bridge, and if so how?

    Wouldn't it be enlightening if the public could know before actual voting occurred what the Common Council knows and does not know concerning pending resolutions.

    I'll never forget having witnessed the passing of a resolution in 2011 which had yet to be created! That same law has still not been drafted! but it's been in the Hudson code book for over a year.

    Now the council is prepared to sanction the destruction of an historic structure for the promise of "free money" from Albany, public funds to be committed to the further erasure of our nearly obliterated historic waterfront.

    There's no wiggle room in a STEP grant if the stated purpose of the grant is to remove the old bridge. Tonight's vote is as good as a vote to raze the structure.

    Is there any trustworthy official who's in a position to state beforehand what is known about the structure? (I'll wager the city's general interest - first and last - concerns the mistakenly "free" money.)

    And where is the public discussion? Is there concern about this prospect from among the ostensibly historically-minded of Hudson?

    Maybe there's interest and maybe there isn't. Either way it seems there are rarely any public concerns which warrant a delay in the council's inexorable voting schedule, in relation to which a previously more engaged but now obedient public knows its place.

    We are ridiculous and irresponsible.