What’s up with Pier 98?

The tangle of pipes and conduits on Pier 98 at the end of 58th Street has long intrigued me. The pier is a fuel dock for the nearby 59th Street steam plant but the machinery on the dock seems elaborate for that purpose alone. I looked into it for the West Side Rag and learned there is also a heat exchanger here for cooling cables at a nearby electrical substation which accounts for the profusion of conduits. The article published today also looks at the role of steam service in the city more broadly: https://www.westsiderag.com/2022/06/02/not-all-piers-are-for-play-keeping-the-steam-up-and-the-lights-on

Con Ed’s Pier 98
A 1960 photo of the IRT Powerhouse and Pier 98 configured for coal delivery. Source: Con Ed report to NYC Landmark Comission

Meanwhile, life goes on as usual on the river, though hot temperatures gave way to a later afternoon downpour which shutdown the afternoon Yankees game in the top of the 9th inning. The most interesting traffic was the Norwegian flagged bulker Belfriend which passed by on the way out after delivering gypsum to the Continental wallboard plant in Buchanan NY. The cargo originated in Garuccha, Spain, a major gypsum export point, and this is the first cargo we have noted going up to the plant in a long time. The Belfriend was followed out by Moran Towing’s Kimberly Turecamo and Dorris Moran which were also up in Buchanan, likely helping the Belfriend leave the dock up there.

The Belfriend heads south after delivering gypsum to Continental’s wallboard factory in Buchanan…
…followed by Doris Moran which assisted leaving the dock up there
A Reinauer ATB heading back to the harbor
The DEP’s North River tanker on sludge duty
Don-Jon Marine takes out the recycling at Pier 99

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