The first of the barges that will remove demolition material from the future site of Cornell NYC Tech arrived at Roosevelt Island this morning (Tuesday, January 21).
Actually, two barges arrived, roped together, pushed by the tug Caitlin Ann from Don Jon Marine, to be anchored on the east side of Goldwater Hospital, which is being demolished. The spud barge Raritan Bay, with a crane aboard, was anchored to the river bottom just a few feet from the rip-rap that surrounds the Island. The second, the Sue P, carried a load of containers that will be used to dispose of hazardous materials from the demolition work.
The all-night over-water trip to Roosevelt Island was also used to bring construction barriers, tucked away in the first containers lifted to the Island by the crane. Within an hour of the barges’ arrival, workers were putting the barriers up to block the east part of the Goldwater traffic loop.
Cornell Vice President Cathy Dove looked on, later joined by RIOC President Charlene Indelicato and Sally Minard, the executive director of FDR Four Freedoms Park. Community Board 8 member Larry Parnes, a Rivercross resident, was also present, as was Judy Buck, an officer of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition, which was instrumental in demanding that Cornell barge materials on and off the Island to the greatest extent possible, rather than trucking everything along Main Street.
The barges brought to the Island will eventually transport hazardous demolition waste from here to a New Jersey port, where they will be off-loaded for later transhipment for final disposal – at a location unknown to the personnel working at the barging site.