Wednesday, August 16, 2017

An Update on the Escarpment

When last Gossips reported about the escarpment, on August 5, the stop-work order that had been issued on July 28 was finally being enforced, but the meeting that was to take place, bringing together all the involved agencies--the Department of Transportation, the Department of State, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Scenic Hudson, and the City of Hudson--had been postponed. That meeting took place today, and Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton just issued the following report about it.
Today, I met with senior representatives from NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Department of State, NYS Office of Parks, Restoration and Historic Preservation, and Scenic Hudson. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the escarpment adjacent to Promenade Hill Park.  Since work began on the escarpment several weeks ago, I, along with Scenic Hudson, have been in constant contact with various State agencies and Amtrak to voice our concerns about the aesthetics of the finished product (which was originally proposed to be plain shotcrete), and its inconsistency with the appearance of the existing cliff face and incongruity with the character of the adjacent historic district. NYSDOT and Amtrak heard our concerns and responded quickly and appropriately by halting work, preventing any further application of shotcrete until alternatives could be explored.
In today’s meeting, we received assurances that the project is subject to the Department of State’s Coastal Consistency Review. NYSDOT will be providing DOS with documentation, including engineering reports that support the need for work to be done to shore up the escarpment for safety purposes.  While the Coastal Consistency Review can take up to 60 days, it will likely be completed faster to accommodate NYSDOT’s project schedule and ensure safety along the railroad tracks.
We were presented with renderings of what the escarpment would look like with the application of sculpted/stamped shotcrete dyed to most closely match the color of the natural shale. Additionally, NYSDOT has offered to plant noninvasive vegetation along the precipice.
There will be a public meeting held within the next several weeks with all agencies in attendance to give the community the opportunity to learn more about proposed alternatives for the project.  I will provide information on the upcoming meeting as it becomes available.
Additionally, I recently engaged an engineering firm to evaluate the historic wall that runs along the western edge of Promenade Hill Park to determine if its integrity has been at all compromised by the work that’s already been done on the escarpment (e.g. drilling, etc.). This report will also be available for review at the public meeting. 


  1. When you're presented with renditions of how benign it's all going to look, and you're told about the delicacy of the proposed plantings - and all in advance of any discussion about alternatives! - then BE VERY WARY.

    Why is no one talking about the mesh products which are specifically designed for these situations?

    Is it possibly about (wait for it ....) cost?!

    I apologize in advance for my hideous cynicism.

  2. Thank you Mayor Hamilton for your work on this and keeping us informed. And I do hope all options (including those suggested by unheimlich) are being explored.