- The Evening News, Published: August
NEW WINDSOR – Orange
County Executive Louis Heimbach donned a construction worker’s
hard hat on Thursday at Steel Style Inc. shipyards to bark
commands through a “bullhorn” – signaling
workers to begin launching a 575-ton caisson gate to be used
in a naval drydock at Pearl Harbor in the Hawaiian Islands.
Before the launching ceremony,
the county executive spoke briefly of the local economic significance
and favorable job impact of the construction contract, awarded
to Steel Style by the U.S. Navy. The caisson gate is destined
for the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, and will be towed
through the Panama Canal to reach its Pacific destination.
The massive, shiplike welded steel structure was erected in
Steel Style’s fabrication yard at the edge of the Hudson
River, on the borderline between Newburgh and New Windsor.
It was anchored in place during the construction period by
seven sets of steel cables. Patriotic bunting decorated the
At Thursday’s high
tide – shortly before 2 p.m. – Heimbach ordered
welders to begin cutting the anchor cables with acetylene
torches. After Heimbach initiated the launch, Steel Style
Executive Vice President David Plotkin and other company officials
wearing Hawaiian-style flower leis continued the command sequence.
With powerful tractors bearing
against the caisson gate on the landward side, the structure
began to slide by its own weight into the river on greased
skids after the welders had severed the fifth retaining cable.
The highly buoyant gate settled easily into the Hudson, displacing
only a small amount of foam and spray before bobbing to rest.
Mayor Joan Shapiro represented
the City of Newburgh at the launching ceremony.
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