Thursday, December 7, 2017

Back to the Escarpment

When Gossips last reported on the fate of the escarpment, denuded of its foliage, studded with rock bolts, and spared from being blasted with shotcrete only by a stop-work order, it was September 28 and a long-awaited meeting with the Department of Transportation had just taken place two days before. During that meeting, DOT representatives stressed how urgent and critical it was to stabilize the rock face lest loose rock tumble onto the railroad tracks, damaging equipment, possibly injuring humans, and certainly causing service delays. Hudson, we were told, had become "the highest slope stabilization priority." At that meeting, the public was given until October 11 to submit comments about the rock stabilization to the DOT and the Department of State.    

Many Gossips readers submitted comments, some urging the DOT to install "slide fences," such as those found at Judson's Hook in Stockport, instead of permanently defacing the escarpment with sprayed on cement.

Nine weeks have passed since the deadline for submitting comments, and there has been no activity at the escarpment, except the removal of some stray bits of equipment thought to have been left behind by GSI. Gossips learned recently though, that the Department of State made its consistency determination on October 13--just two days after the comments were due--seemingly urged to make a quick determination by what was presented as the critical need to stabilize this potentially dangerous cliff immediately. It was determined that the escarpment could be sprayed with shotcrete provided that the color of the cement matched the natural color of the rock and it was scored to make it appear to replicate the natural Ordovician shale. The pictures below, which appeared on a display board presented at the September 26 meeting, show the escarpment in its natural state and covered with shotcrete with vines planted along the top to extend down and mask the fact that nothing will grow on shotcrete.

The picture below shows the shotcrete that was applied to the rock face last summer, after the stop-work order had already been issued.

The Department of State's determination seems not only to ensure that Hudson's escarpment, just below historic Promenade Hill, may end up resembling the Matterhorn at Disneyland, but it is also possible that this same shotcrete treatment may be planned to other areas along the scenic railroad corridor between New York City and Albany.


1 comment:

  1. Sad but not surprising. There are alternative approaches, to what may or may not even be a problem. Why doesn't the DRI prioritize keeping what Hudson already has, a natural cliff along the waterfront?