The Willis Street bridge was built at the Port of Coeymans before being floated down the Hudson River to its permanent location spanning the Harlem River.
The shortest distance between two points is often said to be a straight line. But in some cases, the easiest — and only — way to get from Point A to Point B is via the Hudson River.
Located 10 mi. south of Albany, N.Y., and 110 mi. north of New York City, with easy access to New Jersey and Massachusetts, the Port of Coeymans has recently seen an upsurge in demand from the construction industry.
The port, a 125-acre marine terminal with 3,300 ft. (1,005 m) of water frontage, offers dock capability for ships up to 750 ft. (228 m) with a draft of 32 ft. (9.7 m). Its 300-ton (272 t) Link-Belt crane offers heavy lift capacity to load and unload ships and barges at its dock or in its 300 ft. (91 m) inlet channel.
Typically, 12 to 14 projects are going on simultaneously, and one ship and several barges can be loaded and unloaded at the same time.
“We can service our clients quickly and efficiently because we are a privately owned and operated port and can make decisions more rapidly than government-owned facilities,” said Elias Weis, co-owner.
“We are using the centuries old concept of transportation using water and putting modern day green technology in place to help our clients grow their businesses and help our environment,” added Stephen Kelly, vice president.
Shipping by barge is more energy efficient, is safer, causes little congestion and produces little noise or air pollution, according to the port’s Web site. Therefore, it has relatively small effects on land and community. One ton of cargo is shipped for every gallon of fuel burned.
To move the same amount of cargo transported by a standard tow (one barge) would require 32 freight cars or 100 trucks. By keeping trucks off the road, the port reduces carbon emissions, representatives said.
“In developing this site, I saw the potential to take thousands of trucks off the road, reduce noise and air pollution and reduce accidents by making transporting goods to and from NYC by barge, only 110 miles from our site,” Weis said.
The port, now a NYS DEC approved and permitted C&D Processing Facility, accepts glass cullet and any other waste glass, concrete, rock and asphalt. It processes sands of all grades and crushes and processes back to original properties.
Concrete and asphalt arrive from New York City by barge to be screened, crushed and processed, eventually being turned into usable products for the concrete, paving and construction industries.
“We built the processing facility for the glass recycler, and we have the capability to custom build manufacturing plants for companies whose competitive edge would be enhanced by having a manufacturing location, which can make use of barge and shipping transport,” Karen Moreau, communications director of the Port of Coeymans, said.
Another example of a recycling business located at the Port of Coeymans is a scrap metal processing facility, which processes and ships scrap to Turkey and China across its docks, thus avoiding the middleman and increasing their profit.
In the Beginning
The property, formerly a brick manufacturing plant that had been in existence for more than 100 years, was purchased in 2001. The vision of a marine terminal was conceived when it became clear that the capital investment necessary to make the plant viable again was too high, according to the company Web site.
To convert the site into an industrial port required the vision of two long-time business partners, real estate developer Elias Weis and construction and site development contractor Carver Laraway, according to Moreau.
It took four years of engineering and permitting from the time they bought the property in 2001 before the actual dredging of the river, construction of the deep water docks and renovation of existing warehouses and office building began.
Over the past few years the focus has been on the restructuring and reclamation of the site to meet this new vision.
The port currently offers a variety of services, including:
• Crane Rentals (25, 150, and 350 ton)
• Barge Rentals (Jumbo Hopper, Deck 300x100, 260x40, 95x28)
• Port-to-Port Service
• On-Barge Service
• Tug Services
• Push Boat
• Specialty Lifts
• Dredging & Dock Rehabilitation
• Certified Truck Scale
• Foreign Trade Zone Available
• Container Depot
The port also offers controlled access, parking, office space and rail availability.
The Port of Coeymans Marine Terminal is a Secure MARSAC Level Facility and has full Coast Guard and Homeland Security approvals as well as Foreign Trade Zone availability.
“We have the equipment, facilities and skilled labor force to provide instant and quality service to our clients. We are a one-stop-shop, saving our clients time and money,” said Laraway.
(This story also can be found on Construction Equipment Guide’s Web site at www.constructionequipmentguide.com.) CEG