By now, many of you have read about the governor’s April 17 decision to use “33 barges of Tappan Zee Bridge recycled materials and 30 vessels” to build reefs at six locations north and south of Long Island.    Well, an expeditious eight days later, the first two vessels were already on the Hudson headed south.  Glenn Raymo and I positioned ourselves to document this first shipment.

Glenn positioned himself at the Walkway, where the tugs/barges were soon after daybreak.

Brian Nicholas led the procession with Witte 1405.  The Canal tender–aka T6–seemed like a toy on the barge.  For photos of some off the tenders, including T6 from four years ago, click here.

Here’s a great shot of the stripped, decapitated, and “environmentally clean”  tender.

Rebecca Ann followed pushing a dump scow.  A source says that T6 dates from the 1920s, and I’d guess that the dump scow vintage is similar.  To put this in context, check out this video of a 1928 Mack dump truck.

If you’ve never been on the Walkway, it’s a repurposed rail bridge with a “walk way.”   To catch the tow on the south side of the walkway, Glenn just stepped about 20 feet and got the next two shots.

 

Four and a half hours later, the day was bright, sun having burnt off the fog, and the tow was approaching Bear Mountain Bridge.  Walkways exist on either side of the Bridge, but one needs to cross three lanes of traffic to get from one side to the other, so I opted to take photos from the upstream side only.

Given the size of Witte 1405 relative to the single tender, I’m wondering why the urgency.  More fodder for the reef could have fit.

 

 

Note the chains used to

open the dump doors.

Many thanks to Glenn for use of his photos.  All other by Will Van Dorp, who’s thinking that if the governor holds to his word, 28 more Erie/Barge Canal vessels will descend the Hudson as part of the Reef Express.

If there exists a need for someone to document the final journey–ie, sixth boro to an actual reef location, I’d gladly step forward.

For interior shots–and more–of T6 not that long ago, click here, thanks to Tug44.