Sunday, October 20, 2019

Shotcrete Revisited

In the summer of 2017 and the spring of 2018, Gossips followed obsessively the installation of shotcrete on the rock face below Promenade Hill--from discovering what was planned, through protesting what was planned, to DOT and Amtrak's defense of the plan, to the modifications to the plan, through the final installation. The modifications to the plan, which came after protests from the City of Hudson, Historic Hudson, and Scenic Historic and intervention by the NYS Department of State and SHPO, were that the shortcrete would be "tinted and sculpted" to make it look like the Ordovician shale it was covering up, and "vine like planted material" would be installed at the top to make it appear more like a natural rock face. The image below, displayed at a public meeting with Amtrak and DOT in September 2017, shows a photograph of the escarpment as it was and a rendering of the escarpment as it would be after the shotcrete had been applied.  

In the spring of 2018, the "tinted and sculpted" shotcrete was applied, but the "vine like plant material" seems never to have been installed. The photograph below was take in the early summer of 2018.

In the year and a half since the shotcrete went on, nature has been taking over. 

Not only is there wild vegetation descending from the top of the escarpment, there is also wild vegetation growing on or penetrating through the shotcrete.

One wonders what effect these forces of nature might be having on it efficacy of the shotcrete in stabilizing the rock face.

1 comment:

  1. For those unfamiliar with the appearance of a ca. 450 million year-old shale face, the faux fracturing created by the shotcrete "artist" is nothing like it. Instead we got a rock-climbing wall from an outdoor equipment store.

    The public presented other alternatives to mitigate safety concerns which are already in use just north and south of Hudson, but it seemed our comments were simply ignored.

    In the end, state government wasn't much help was it?

    The state's vaunted "coastal consistency review" is really a quick list of 11 criteria that are so general in nature that they're wide open to interpretation.

    For instance, consider the only two coastal criteria which applied in this case:

    a) "The activity is compatible with community character in design, size, and materials;

    b) "the activity is entirely on property owned or otherwise authorized by the owner for use by the proponent of the activity."

    And we figured NYSDOS might help. NY state is a total joke.