Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Way Things Were

A post earlier this week raised the question of how gravel would get to the port if CSX were to close the Broad Street crossing. This inspired city historian Pat Fenoff to send Gossips the text of an article that appeared in the Hudson Republican on August 13, 1910. The Knickerbocker Cement Company was located on Route 23B, where ADM is now. The transloading facility now being developed, which will load aggregate onto rail cars for Colarusso, is adjacent to what was the Knickerbocker Cement Plant.

The Knickerbocker Cement Company, the new corporation which has started work on another big cement plant east of this city, in the town of Greenport, proposes to utilize the big dock it purchased on the river front at this city, where at one time there was a large ice house which was destroyed by fire several years ago.

The company has the use of the tracks of the Boston and Albany railroad passing thru this city, and a spur is now being laid from the branch here to the plant a short distance this side of the bridge crossing the Claverack creek.

The plan mapped out is to build a big trestle connecting with the B. & A. tracks near the South bay and extend it over the tracks of the New York Central railroad to the dock on the river front. The trestle will be a concrete and iron structure, and it is likely that work on its construction will soon commence. 


  1. The strange thing about the gravel hauling activity through Hudson is that none of the people involved with our waterfront planning process (Linda Mussman, Cheryl Roberts, Don Moore, and others) have explained to the community exactly what the upside is for residents of the city. The downside is obvious; dangerous truck traffic that is noisy, dusty, polluting, and generally detrimental to our quality of life. But where is the economic upside that is supposed to counterbalance these negatives? And why is Mussman in particular not raising holy hell about the fact that the trucks continue to rumble right through the heart of the minority district in Hudson? She fancies herself as the grand champion of minority interests in the city-- why has she chosen to be complicit in the bungled planning process that led to this lousy outcome?

  2. Aside from the probability that not too many people choose to be "complicit in bungling," a conveyor system through the South Bay would actually be a crowning achievement for Ms. Mussman.

    In the meantime though, in an effort to do something about the inconvenience of the truck traffic in front of her own building on Columbia Street, last year Ms. Mussman's TSL sponsored a forum on moving the truck route WITHIN the city, which would simply make it someone else's problem for awhile.

    It was at this meeting, which was attended by the NYS DOT, a Congressional aide, Mr. Moore and so on, that detailed plans were introduced showing how the trucks could be routed down upper Warren Street and along the 7th St. park, a part of the city that was, right at that moment, beginning to celebrate a neighborhood resurgence.

    What a compelling idea! That's why it was such a tragic oversight that Ms. Mussman accidentally forgot to invite the aldermen from all of the effected wards, and any other parties that might have opposed her carefully prepared scheme.

    The idea that the average citizen should be able to wield that kind of influence on our small stage, and that local officials would feel fine about cosseting an obvious special interest, would be extremely disturbing, except for the fact that nothing has happened since.

    In the aftermath of this stunt, I believe that the local politicos who let themselves be involved in the story to the extent they did got the message.

    But the whole time - and probably since 2006 - that same tight group who managed the entire LWRP process knew something that the public only learned three weeks ago: that the South Bay conveyor system was the plan all along.

    Congratulations Linda Mussman! You pulled the wool over our eyes after all!