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CSX continues to tag, remove old RR ties swept into the river during Sandy


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Hundreds of railroad ties that were swept into the Hudson River during Hurricane Sandy are now being removed as part of a cleanup effort by CSX Transportation.

The wooden ties had been staged for pickup along the river between Jones Point and Tomkins Cove in 2012. But when the historic storm hit, it scattered the timbers over a roughly two mile stretch of shoreline.

“Depending on the tides, the ties (were) submerged or scattered along the shore like pick-up sticks,” Ellie Kassner, whose property borders the stretch of CSX track, said.

Kassner reported the issue to CSX in 2013, but didn’t immediately hear back. She also reached out to Riverkeeper, which contacted CSX to relay her concerns. In early 2014, she said she was contacted by someone from the railroad who was “very responsive to my complaint.”

Kassner later spoke with CSX officials and assisted field crews to assess the number and location of the ties. Early this year, she was told the cleanup project had been green-lighted and, in June, the company began removing ties using a barge mounted crane.

This week, crews with Miller Environmental Group returned using divers from a vessel to mark more ties that were discovered below water for removal.

Kassner called the eventual commitment to clean up the ties a choice to do the right thing by the River, and said the outcome is “heartwarming.”

“While the ties created visual and physical pollution to an area directly in front of my home, throughout this process, I was impressed by the way other people inserted themselves as part of my community to help,” she said. “In the end, this wouldn’t have been possible without the help from all parties involved. I’m glad to have my view back, but I’m much more grateful that my persistence, and the hard work of others, has paid off for the good of the beautiful Hudson River.”

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