Friday, August 28, 2015

At the Barricades

Mayor William Hallenbeck held a press conference today at the barricade that prevents vehicles from crossing the Ferry Street Bridge. In the announcement that went out yesterday, reference was made to "federal, state, and local government officials," but no one representing Hudson at the federal level was present, and at the state level, only Jeff Cleary, director of government relations for State Senator Kathy Marchione, was there.

Left to right: Cleary, Grattan, Hallenbeck, and aldermen Tiffany Garriga (Second Ward), Henry Hadded (Third Ward), Rick Rector (First Ward)
After recounting how he had shut down the bridge in the interest of public safety and sharing "a little history" of the 110-year-old bridge, the mayor launched into a detailed account of the bridge's current condition. "Rehabilitation is not a feasible alternative," he concluded. "Repairing the bridge is not an option." He called for "a united effort to replace the bridge." Stressing the urgency of replacing the bridge by calling Hudson and its waterfront "the most sought after location," the mayor announced that John "Duke" Duchessi and Bill Roehr, of TGW Consultants, would "lead the charge."

In his comments, Pat Grattan, chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, praised Hallenbeck for his "swift action in closing this very dangerous bridge." He went on to say, "I've seen how costly bridges are," and expressed the opinion that a municipality like Hudson should not have to bear the expense alone. Common Council president Don Moore, in his comments, set the cost of a new bridge at $2.5 million.


  1. So in other words, nothing happened. This is nothing more than an election season stunt to make it seem like the Mayor has done something...anything, other than close the bridge. He hasn't.

  2. Block access and hold the public hostage until "free money" rains down from Albany. Where have seen this before?

    1. One might think our "servants" would have placed the barricades nearer front street to allow for foot traffic and bicycles. Then again, that would.leave less hostages.

  3. word must have come down that the railroad intends to close the other crossing soon, we'll need a bridge to handle multiple tractor trailer crossings ASAP so we'll blame cars and Johnny gets his bridge on the taxpayer dime. maybe not.

  4. Not quite accurate Mike, but that's okay because almost nobody knows the following story.

    In 2011, the Common Council under the direction of Don Moore clammed up when the public inquired how the Zoning Code could be amended without a map of the Zoning Districts? The council even amended the official Zoning Map - the existence of which falls under its own statute - but without having the new map!

    The whole thing was appalling, but aside from Gossips, who covered the issue nicely, almost nobody took an interest. A Public Hearing was held, as required, but almost nobody showed up.

    The big question was how the new Zoning Districts at the waterfront and South Bay would be fitted together? How would the City resolve the contradictions created by the CSX line?

    My wife and I made large-size print-outs of a variety of possible scenarios, which were covered with question marks and displayed on easels at the Public Hearing.

    The question was put directly to the council members, asked, who answered with a stony silence. It was asked again, and again answered with silence. A third time ... silence.

    Immediately after this strange occurrence, the Common Council voted to amend the Zoning Code - both text and map.

    Well they knew exactly what they were doing. When the official Zoning Map was completed about 16 months after it was passed into law (!), the public was finally able to see how the districts were resolved.

    The Core-Riverfront District - which in the South Bay is the width of the ever-expanding "causeway road," not even a road until 2011 - cuts straight across the train tracks at the west end of the causeway and into the aggregate yard (now owned by Colarusso).

    All along, implicit in the text of the LWRP, was the conveyor system specifically requested by Holcim, Inc., first delivered to the public by Linda Mussman in 2006 in the form of a large-size, color graphic which has since disappeared.

    Because the Broad Street crossing will soon be closed, it is the conveyor system through the South Bay that we must expect rather than tractor trailers across the next Ferry Street Bridge.

    This was the information that Mr. Moore didn't want the public to know, and the reason the council members sat in stony silence.

    Similarly, just yesterday we learned that the City is attempting to circumvent a required Public Comment Period for the Federal component of the sewer separation project.

    So far I'm about the only person who knows about this, but perhaps as with the stealth conveyor system (and so many other unsavory things here!), the public is so inured to the unscrupulous ways of city government that we're satisfied with our ignorance even when we're being duped.

    When that conveyor system gets put in though, people are going to freak out!

    Public Comment periods and Public Hearings are the time to voice our concerns, so don't we get what we deserve when we all know, only too well, the kinds of individuals who run this city.

    With yesterday's news about getting cheated from participating yet again, will anyone care? Well, people WILL care of course, but as usual it will be too late.

    C'mon, we can do a lot better than this.

  5. unbelievable

    what a joke

    and its not even funny