Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Down by the River

Yesterday morning, Gossips was at Rick's Point to witness the delivery of a small bulldozer. A small backhoe was already there. Curious to know what the equipment would be used for, I contacted public works superintendent Rob Perry, thinking surely he would know. He didn't. He did explain that "the site is an active brownfield, so any activity usually involves National Grid and DEC." The site is a brownfield because, in the latter part of the 19th century, Hudson Gas Company, sometimes known as the Hudson Gasification Works, which transformed coal into gas to heat and light homes, was located right beside the Dunn warehouse building. 

The responsibility for the creosote contamination produced by that process is a legacy thing, which has been passed on to National Grid.

This morning, I learned that the work is indeed being done by National Grid, and what they are doing is putting more rocks on top of the riprap in the slips.

The work done so far happened yesterday afternoon, and this morning, DPW workers were at the site putting down new grass seed to repair the damage to the lawn done by the equipment used to put the stone in place.

Meanwhile, at the state boat launch, nature is reclaiming the recently denuded and skewered rock face.

On July 28, a stop-work order was issued for the project, which involved stripping the escarpment of all foliage and driving metal rods into the rock in preparation for spraying the escarpment with shotcrete. The stop-work order was necessary because the project, which at that point had been going on for close to three weeks, was subject to Coast Consistency Review by the Department of State, but it had never been submitted for such review. It took more than a week for the stop-work order to be enforced, but it finally was on August 5, and on August 16, Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton met with senior representatives of the Department of Transportation, the Department of State, the Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and Scenic Hudson to discuss the project. After that meeting, she reported: "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." So far, to Gossips' knowledge, there has been no word of exactly when that meeting will take place, and the foliage keeps growing back.


  1. When I was down there today about 1:30pm the backhoe was still at work.

  2. What is the purpose of more rip rap? A bulky filter for the chemical toxins which still seep into the river?

    And why do we never hear the word "alternatives" in relation to the Promenade escarpment? Whether it's NEPA (federal) or SEQRA (state), our environmental review procedures are all about considering alternatives.

    Project sponsors always say there are no reasonable alternatives, even though that's rarely the case. It certainly isn't the case in this instance, so it must be about money.

  3. Might they be preparing to pile drive pierring and need to first firm up the shore?

    1. Because of the continuously seeping contamination from the former gasworks, all are prohibited from disturbing either the waterfront park's rip rap or the sediment beneath it. That's why the US Army Corps of Engineers was so pissed off when the City excavated, without permission, in order to install those pink-colored posts for the floating docks.