Excavation could begin in September
By Michael Turton
Bids for the job of excavating the coal tar found beneath the Cold Spring Boat Club will be opened on June 23. David Chiusano, project manager with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), made the announcement at a meeting held on the Boat Club site on Wednesday (June 10). More than 30 contractors attended the session, at which DEC officials reviewed project details with potential bidders.
Chiusano said that bids will be in the $2.5 million to $5 million range and that once the successful company is selected, DEC’s detailed technical and legal review of the contractor’s proposal will take about 12 weeks. The boat club must vacate the premises by Sept. 13 and work could start on site any time after that date. Chiusano said that once the contract is finalized, the contractor will have 180 days to “substantially complete” the project. All work on the site must be complete 30 days after that.
One of the first tasks the contractor will undertake is the demolition of the boat club building and removal of the concrete and asphalt slab beneath it. Fill material will then be removed to a depth of 11 to 13 feet, Chiusano explained. The excavation will remove pockets of coal tar, a toxic by-product of a manufactured gas plant (MGP) that operated on the site in the 19th century, from beneath the building and the parking lot just east of it. Remnants of the MGP’s 19th-century foundation will also be removed.
During construction, the excavation area will be enclosed in a fabric tent to prevent airborne migration of pollutants. Chiusano said that as requested by the Village of Cold Spring, contractors will be required to use smaller capacity trucks for the removal of the fill material. Village officials and residents have expressed concern over the weight-bearing capacity of the railroad bridge, which trucks will use in disposing of the material. He also said that no overweight permits will be granted as part of the work.
Office trailers will be set up on the site as part of the project, both at the boat club and at the south end of the park located immediately adjacent to it. Once the work is complete, the footprint of the boat club building will be seeded with grass. The remainder of the site will be covered with gravel.
Chiusano said that DEC is working with the boat club regarding storage of the club’s materials, on the site, but away from the excavation area. He also said that access to the boat ramp will be maintained throughout the project to facilitate emergency use by the Putnam County sheriff and the U.S. Coast Guard.