Saturday, March 4, 2023

On the Topic of the Truck Route

The Common Council ad hoc committee tasked with getting the truck routes out of Hudson had its monthly meeting this past Thursday. Margaret Morris, who chairs the committee, started off by reporting on a meeting that was held on Friday, February 24, organized by Abdus Miah, who represents the Second Ward on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, which involved the supervisors from Greenport and Claverack, as well as representatives from Assemblymember Didi Barrett's office, State Senator Michelle Hinchey's office, and the NYS Department of Transportation. Morris called it "a very good meeting" and commented, "We have the right people in the room." She went on to say they were in the preliminary stages of discussion with the other municipalities and there would be another meeting in the next couple of weeks. 

At the ad hoc committee meeting on Thursday, committee member Donna Streitz responded to Linda Mussmann's suggestion, made at the last meeting of the committee, that the truck study needed to be done over because it had been carried out during the pandemic. Streitz's research found that there was a steep decline in the volume of shipments by truck between March 1 and April 1, 2020, but after that, the volume rebounded. The truck study was done in October 2020.

The video of the meeting can be viewed here.


  1. Other rural counties in NYS have restricted truck traffic to interstates. Why ? Too little in the way of deliveries and too much wear and tear on local roads.

    Columbia County is half the size of Rhode Island but has a population of only 63,000 people. Most of the population is concentrated in Kinderhook and Hudson.
    The deliveries locally should come in from Route and Route 87, and go back out the same way.

    There is no reason to save truckers the cost of the tolls to go a shorter route through our county when there is no real pay load coming here.

    Take a look at the map to see that Route 90 is on our northern border, and Route 87 is on our western border. Access to the county should go on those roads.

    Local trucks can come in and go out, in a restricted way. this is an agricultural county that should have its roads devoted to that type of truck traffic and that of any other local business. It just makes sense.

    Colarusso has a large operation in our county. It is time to negotiate a private road on their land down to the waterfront from their quarry, where they have presences.

  2. There are huge problems with the Colarusso operation. First, it provides zero economic upside to the City of Hudson, in spite of the fact that we are suffering a great deal of abuse.

    Second, Colarusso has filed two separate lawsuits against the City, and for 4 years the company refused to provide our Planning Board with the most minimal information about their intentions, making it impossible for the Board to make an informed decision on the application. Thus, Colarusso has taken an adversarial position in their dealings with Hudson and has made it clear that they don't give a rat's ass about quality of life in our community.

    Third, during the review process Colarusso has steadfastly maintained that the City has no legal authority to put ANY limitations on the volume of heavy truck traffic. So if the PB were to issue permits, we would be vulnerable to a massive gravel operation, with ominous implications for our waterfront. The fact that Colarusso has spent many years and blown hundreds of thousand of $$ in pursuit of approval makes it obvious that the company wants to ramp up operations to an intolerable level.

    Fourth, the proposed Colarusso haul road would require brand new right-angle intersections on Routes 9 & 9G, which are the major arteries into Hudson from the south. The recent truck study by M & J Engineering revealed that on a daily basis, there are 13,000 vehicles passing along those routes. Therefore, Colarusso's heavy dump trucks would be interacting with a massive volume of vehicle traffic, creating a situation that is unsafe, with great potential to disrupt the regular flow of normal traffic.

    Fifth, South Bay was designated by the NY Department of State as a Significant Fish & Wildlife Habitat. Running a two-lane industrial haul route thru the middle of the Bay is beyond ridiculous.

    The only sensible solution is to get rid of that gravel dump, because it will forever be a source of conflict, and is doing no good whatsoever for the City of Hudson.

    1. Whether one likes it or not, Colarusso is an "essential" construction products producer and shipper that owns 1800 acres of land surrounding Hudson, and has a wharf on the river in order to use barges for shipping its gravel and other products down river for construction.

      Quarry stone and gravel, cement, and other items are "essential" for use in building. These businesses were protected by law during the Covid period and were allowed to operate when other businesses were not.

      Roads and transportation are "essential" and basic to the American economy, in the world we now live in.
      Property rights are still protected.

      A private haul road will get the trucks off the local roads and out of the city. the points of intersection with 9 and 9 G will reduce the problem to only one area.

      The other option is for the State to buy the whole operation from Colarusso and put it in a land trust. Float that one with the State.

      No-one in Hudson to date has been able to solve these issues. The trucks continue and the complaining goes on.

      Legally, Hudson has a problem. Colarusso owns the 1800 acres.

      I do not think that under the State and Federal laws on the books in the United States you are going to have much luck shutting down a producer of an essential product of out a quarry.


    2. Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. You are conflating the the idea that Colarusso’s business is essential to society with the idea that Hudson’s dock is essential to the survival of that business. It is not. ACS is a 100 year old company that only purchased the dock in 2014—and knew going into that purchase that their non-conforming use status had limitations. A massive increase in volume on the waterfront, obliterating every other economic use, was never part of the bargain, and yet that's what we're facing. As Peter points out, Colarusso’s position is that the local community has no right to regulate volume, and their proposed two-lane access road is aimed squarely at a huge expansion. Hudson, through its planning board, has every right in the world to say no; in fact, the economic future of our beautiful, ever-promising and ever-struggling small city depends on it.

  3. Another point: There is no "negotiating" option with Colarusso. They come before the Hudson Planning Board and various other agencies and present their application, and it gets approved or denied on the merits. 'Negotiations' are the way the good 'ol boys did things in the past-- hopefully we have moved beyond that.

  4. The gravel transfer station property property at the waterfront is most likely contaminated. It should be checked for pollution and most likely condemned. if it isn't, then the city should take it by eminent domain for park and recreational purposes.

  5. Can I ask what has been done with the area that housed the old shacks? This was reclaimed by the city in hopes of what? There is not enough real estate near the river to do anything that will benefit the community, except for the beautiful boat launch.