Wednesday, March 29, 2017

How Many Trucks? A Definitive Answer for Now

At the last Greenport Planning Board meeting, it seemed that the Order to Remedy (OTR) issued by the City of Hudson for work done by Colarusso at the dock without site plan approval from the Hudson Planning Board was holding up the review of proposed haul road. At tonight's Greenport Planning Board meeting, there was no mention of the OTR, and the process moved forward.

Pat Prendergast, engineer for Colarusso, presented the board with an updated EAF (Environmental Assessment Form). Ed Stiffler, who chairs the Greenport Planning Board, sought clarification about the hours given in the EAF. What was indicated was 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Stiffler questioned how this could be the case when Hudson ordinances limit the hours of operation at the dock to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It was explained that activity before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. would take place east of Route 9 and in the quarry.  

There was also an answer about the number of trucks that would be traveling the haul road. Based on the information in the traffic study done by Creighton Manning, peak traffic was determined to be 142 trucks a day. That means, during a twelve hour day, in times of peak activity, a truck loaded with gravel would leave the quarry every 5 minutes, and every 5 minutes a truck would reach the western end of the haul road, travel past Basilica Hudson, cross the railroad tracks at Broad Street, and continue on to the dock. Stiffler read an excerpt from a letter written by Paul Colarusso attesting that peak traffic was 142 trucks a day and there were no plans to improve the dock, presumably beyond the improvements already completed.

When Planning Board member Michael Bucholsky asked about traffic in the future, JR Heffner, vice president of operations for Colarusso, said, "We would like to continue doing business, and the goal is growth." (Recall that, according to Nick Olivari's investigative report, one of the two mines currently being worked has 98.5 more years of productivity and the other has 127 years.) When Bucholsky asked if growth would "manifest itself in more trucks," Prendergast weighed in, declaring, "The peak rate is the most they can do. They can't make the stuff any faster. To do more, they'd have to spend millions of dollars for another crusher." Bucholsky then concluded, "So the number you have for peak applies for several years."

Bucholsky then opined that the number of trucks "coming out of the City of Hudson" would reduce emissions, traffic, and wear and tear on the city's infrastructure. "This is a good thing for Hudson," Bucholsky stated. "That's significant." Then then asked rhetorically, "What is the negative?"

Prendergast responded, "This is a win-win for everyone involved." He then asserted that the haul road was "pretty far removed from civilization" and noted that using the truck route through the city "is a liability for the company."

The board then voted to hold a public meeting "to receive comments concerning the environmental aspects of the project" on Tuesday, April 18, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting, which is anticipated may last until 10 p.m., will take place at Columbia-Greene Community College in the "large theater." The board will also accept written comments, which must be postmarked by Friday, April 21, and received by Monday, April 24. 


  1. Is there any evidence in the record as to just how many business days per year, the traffic will be at "peak?" If it is not all of such business days, then the number of "peak" days could increase if C achieves its understandable goal of having more "growth." Are there any peak traffic days now, and if so, as to how many business days is it per year?

    The issue here, and it is a critically important one (given that C's cost of production will decrease if its proposal comes into being), is does the record support or not that C is at peak volume now, and that absent additional costly infrastructure development, not now currently contemplated, it is literally impossible (because every business day as we speak is a peak business day) for the number of trucks going through Hudson (albeit on less blocks than before), to increase if C's proposal is effected? That is what Prendergast is asserting. If he really meant is that merely the peak number of trucks cannot increase on any given day beyond what is possible now (even though the route is shorter), he should so clarify.

    1. The number 180 was mentioned twice as the number of business days in a year, but I don't know how they calculated that when they were talking about operating six days a week.

    2. In Nick Olivari's February 25th R-S story, he cited "260 weekdays" per working year. I don't know where he got that number though.

    3. By jove, there are 260 weekdays in any year! Ya learn something new every day.

    4. Whatever the number of conceivable business days, is the truck traffic at peak loads on each of those days, such that it is physically impossible to increase the truck volume absent another large infrastructure investment by C? That I think is a very important fact that needs to be nailed down, and quantified.

    5. Recently we're hearing about the limits of the crusher, like gravel has a shelf life and there can only be so much of it crushed at a time.

      The Creighton Manning studies set the upper limit strictly by how many barges can be filled "typically": "Barges typically arrive once every four days ..."

      That's the number to nail down.

      And while we're learning more about barges, notice that lately, the company is defending the amount of materials it can stockpile at the port, for which there's no limit other than space.

  2. A truck every 5 minutes - for 12 hours - every day . WOW . What an obsessive oppressive disaster this is for Hudsons waterfront and the Basilica, and the businesses betting everything on their livelihood in the L&B factory Renaissance . Everyone must sacrifice for the prosperity of one company alone. WOW

  3. But the changes we're being asked to accommodate will apply permanently, which is a lot longer than "several years." The City is looking 50 and 75 years out, while the company is focused on the immediate concessions it can squeeze out of us.

    Also, all truck figures to date are based on 18-wheelers, which Creighton Manning makes clear up front. Considering that the company owns a fleet of large dump trucks - all of which have a smaller carrying capacity than the big semis - this means either of two things:

    1. The future operations described in the proposal will not use any dump trucks;

    2. All of the truck numbers, even the magic number "142," are being underestimated.

    Q: How many dump trucks does it take to fill one 18-wheeler?

    Q: How many dump trucks does it take to fill one barge?

    Is it possible that the projected number of trucks involved is just flat out wrong?

  4. A truck every 5 minutes even on Saturdays ?
    Bye bye Riverfront Park and devastating news for Basilica