Faulty spud piles blamed for collapsed ferry gangway


The following is the text of a news release from N.Y. Waterway:

(NEW YORK) (Feb. 19) — The Greenpoint ferry landing was taken out of service on Thursday, February 13, when the gangway that connected the fixed pier to the floating landing barge detached at the point where it had been connected to the barge.  Preliminary inspections by engineers engaged by the owner of the pier reveal that two spud piles that held the barge in position failed. When the piles failed, the barge moved to the west creating a distance between the pier and the barge that exceeded the length of the gangway, with the result that the gangway collapsed. The barge and gangway are designed to move vertically with changes in tides and in the height of the barge. The preliminary findings did not indicate any problem with the gangway itself that contributed to the incident.  It has not yet been determined what caused the piles to fail.

We have been advised by the pier owner that additional dive teams are going to be sent to the site to remove the piles for further examination in order to assess the cause of their failure. The retrieval of those piles and the determination of the cause of their failure are required before the facility can be restored to service. Therefore, we do not yet have an estimate of the time at which ferry service to Greenpoint will be restored. The safety of our passengers remains our number one priority and we of course will not operate our vessels to this or any site unless we are confident that it is safe to operate. We remind our customers that there is an interim free shuttle bus service to transport Greenpoint passengers to and from the North Williamsburg ferry landing (*schedule here).

We are grateful that no one was near the ramp or barge when this incident occurred and we will continue to work closely with the owner of the pier so that an appropriate assessment is completed as soon as possible and ferry service restored for our Greenpoint customers.

By Professional Mariner Staff