Monday, September 13, 2021

Gravel on the River

In April, Gossips reported that a company called New York State Marine Highway Transportation LLC, a tug and barge operator located in the Troy that transports aggregates (stone, sand, gravel, etc.) from quarries in Catskill (Peckham) and Hudson (Colarusso) to the New York City metropolitan area, had applied to the Army Corps of Engineers to install a "seasonal barge mooring" on the river near Germantown. Today, Gossips learned the the Army Corps of Engineers has announced a public comment period that began on September 9 and continues through October 8. The public notice can be found here

The following description of what is being proposed is taken from the USACE public notice:
Installation of a seasonal single 58-inch-diameter steel mooring buoy, a 10,000-lbs navy stockless anchor and associated hardware adjacent to and approximately 579 feet southeast of the floor of the Federal navigation channel in the Hudson River. Associated hardware includes but is not limited to 90-feet of 2-inch stud link chain, shackles, connecting links, swivels, and two (2) 60-foot-length pendants. On scene water depth is approximately 22-feet at Mean Lower Low Water. 
The standard barges proposed to use the mooring point/buoy would measure 35-foot-wide by 200- foot-long, or 52-foot-wide by 250-foot-long. The barge configuration would be a maximum of three (3) abreast. No barges would be configured astern. The maximum size of the barges configuration at the buoy would be 250-feet-long by 156-feet-wide. . . .
The permit applicant’s stated purpose for this work is to provide a new commercial mooring point/buoy to provide staging of both empty and full aggregate barges during the course of normal transportation from quarries in Catskill, New York and Hudson, New York.
Comments must make reference to the Public Notice No.: NAN-2021-00296-USH and be directed to


  1. The big question for Hudson is how much this would improve Colarusso's ability to move gravel at its dock. With the company's intended two-lane truckway, vastly increasing capacity to bring gravel TO the dock, anything that improves the ability to move gravel onto barges once there is really bad news for the future of our waterfront as anything more than a gravel dump.

    1. dkon, several of us were concerned about this exact issue at the time the Colarusso revetment was a mere proposal before the state. We grew even more concerned when we learned that the purported justification for the revetment, "erosion" beside the dock, was deemed so minimal by the DEC field investigator that it didn't even warrant a repair.

      We complained about all of the above in our public comments to the state, but the DEC permitter ignored us (and ignored its own investigator) and the project was awarded its permit.

      Later, and surely because of her irregular review of the revetment (a nonexistent document was sited by name and date for justification), the same DEC permitter, Trish Gabriel, was removed and replaced with another testy state worker from having anything more to do with Hudson.

      As if that wasn't fishy enough, it was unfortunate that only the bulkhead half of the bulkhead/revetment project was issued an Order To Remedy by the City, after which the revetment was entirely forgotten by everybody except for the citizen task force which warned the state in the first place.

      In those same comments, we speculated that since the revetment had little to do with "erosion control" it was likely part of an expansion plan. The DEC's Gabriel pretended not to know of any other plans, though later we discovered she'd actually visited Hudson months earlier to tour the "haul road" proposal. It was that lie that initiated the arguable segmentation which was later an issue in court. It's a shame it wasn't argued very well.

      Today, what we warned about in our comments to the state 6 years ago is no less a concern, as your own comment attests.

      Imagine an established barge parking lot which keeps pace with the increased gravel export due to the new, two-lane private road. The barges would be tied to one another and moored to the revetment, perhaps via a dead hulk, in the same way that the City's floating docks are moored (illegally! per an order from the NYS DOS) to the revetment in the waterfront park.

      My own final judgement about this place is that Albany and Hudson are forever and hopelessly entwined in venal dishonor.

      Hudson residents would be well advised to heed your comment.