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135-Foot Generator Passes Under Mid-Hudson Bridge

Courtesy of Christopher Sekul
Courtesy of Christopher Sekul

Standing 135 feet tall and weighing 8 million pounds, a heat-recovery steam generator left the Port of Coeymans Monday morning en route to Sewaren, NJ. The generator, adorned with banners proclaiming that it was made by union tradesman will be an integral part of a $600 million dollar PSEG power plant being constructed in NJ. The cost of the power plant is estimated to be $600 million dollars. The generator cost $195 million to construct.

Hudson Valley Post Correspondent Todd Bender departed Norrie Point Marina in Staatsburg at 6 pm Monday evening aboard the “One Night Stand” piloted by Chris Sekul and headed north in search of the largest structure ever to be shipped on the Hudson. Forty minutes later the the barge, being pushed, pulled, and guided by three tug boats was spotted just north of the Espous Lighthouse. Photos were taken from various viewpoints as Sekul made wide sweeping passes around the vessel.

Todd Bender
Todd Bender

The structure was originally scheduled to pass under the Mid-Hudson bridge at approximately 7:47 pm but slowed to approximately 5 knots to arrive at the bridge during the peak of low tide.

Onlookers were gathered at various points on both shores to catch a glimpse of history in the making. The biggest crowds visible from Sekul’s craft were at Marist College, Waryas Park, and Kaal Rock park. The fact that the barge was late and darkness had settled in did not disperse the crowds. Sekul, his son Christopher, Brandon West, and Bender waited aboard the boat situated between the Walkway and Mid-Hudson bridges to watch the generator as it encountered it’s most treacherous part of the journey; passing under the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

Todd Bender for Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley
Todd Bender for Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

It cleared the Walkway with substantial space to spare. The same could north be said for the second span. The behemoth structure went under the bridge bearing FDR’s name with only nine feet of space between the bottom side of the bridge and the top of the generator. As the lead tug passed under the bridge it seemed that a disaster of epic proportions was about to unfold.

At just a few minutes after 9 pm, the generator had completely passed without scraping the bridge. There was applause among the small flotilla of boats that had gathered by the bridge followed by the tug captain coming over the marine radio and thanking everyone for coming out to watch.

Courtesy of Christopher Sekul
Courtesy of Christopher Sekul

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