USS Intrepid moving down the Hudson this morning.
Freed at last. USS Intrepid moving down the Hudson this morning (from the ESB webcam):
USS Intrepid moving down the Hudson this morning.
Nice. Anyone know if the plan is still Bayonne for awhile, then Staten Island? Or all they going to do everything in Bayonne now since they switched docks?
Just went by the WTC with its entourage of tugs and helicopters. Unfurled a giant flag with "Honor the Heros" banner.
They moved that baby down-river fast ...
I barely got down to BPC in time to get a glimpse.
Intrepid pulls into Bayonne
A month after a failed attempt to move the USS Intrepid, the historic aircraft carrier is now in Bayonne.
After considerable effort, the aircraft carrier-turned-museum inched haltingly away from its anchorage this morning and then slowly made its way to Bayonne, where it will be dry docked for repair.
On the way, it stopped in front of Ground Zero and the Statue of Liberty before pulling into the Cape Liberty Cruise Port at the Peninsula at Bayonne Harbor just after 3 p.m. It sat motionless for more than an hour near Bayonne before pulling in.
In the previous attempt, thick mud had proved too strong for six "tractor tugs'' exerting some 30,000 horsepower. Another battle occurred this time, too — the blue water was churned dark brown as tugboats strained to budge the giant vessel from its longtime home.
"If she doesn't move, we are going to jump in and push her,'' a former crew member, 84-year-old Joe Cobert, said on the Intrepid's deck before the behemoth began to move.
A Fire Department boat sailed alongside the Intrepid, shooting red, white and blue colored water from its hoses. River traffic resumed after being halted while the ship was pulling away from the pier.
In the first attempt on Nov. 6, the 36,000-ton carrier moved only a few feet before the propellers dug into the bottom, the tide dropped, and the mission was scrubbed.
Intrepid officials said the $60 million overhaul, lasting up to two years, would include stem-to-stern "refurbishment and renovation'' to repair deterioration and open up long-closed areas to the public.
Also yes it will remain in Bayonne for the entire two years of rehabilitation.
Last edited by JCMAN320; December 5th, 2006 at 05:21 PM.
Briefly, Slowly, the Intrepid Moves Again
A month after a first effort failed, tugboats Tuesday
got the carrier Intrepid free of the river mud at its
West Side pier and off to Bayonne, N.J., for
refurbishment. It is due back in New York in 2008.
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
Published: December 6, 2006
For about 30 minutes yesterday morning, the second attempt to pull the Intrepid away from its longtime home on the West Side of Manhattan felt like another embarrassing failure.
While three powerful tugboats strained against ropes and chains attached to the stern of the 900-foot-long aircraft carrier, it moved a few feet and then stopped again. There was a collective sense of déjà vu among the 20 former Intrepid crewmen assembled on the decks by invitation. One month ago, the first try at towing the ship away for repairs and refurbishment of the museum it houses had ended in just about the same spot.
This time, just as the tugboat operators were starting to give up hope, the old ship yielded, sliding free of the muck and away from the pier that has been its home since 1982. Pat Kinnier, who planned the towing operation for McAllister Towing, yelled out, “We got it!” and hugged Bill White, the president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
The men who had spent months preparing the Intrepid for its first voyage in 24 years admitted that for several minutes they had feared that the 36,000-ton ship might never budge.
“Just when I was ready to say this isn’t going anywhere again and I was formulating my defeat speech, she moved,” said Jeffrey K. McAllister, senior docking pilot for McAllister Towing. “If we had one less horsepower with us today, we’d still be sitting back there scratching our heads.”
The Intrepid docked in Bayonne, N.J., at 3:40 p.m., where the hull will be sandblasted and repainted in March. In late spring, it is to be towed again, to Staten Island, where its exhibition spaces will be renovated. It is to return to Pier 86, at the foot of West 46th Street, in November 2008.
On Nov. 6, the McAllister crew eventually applied almost 30,000 horsepower to the job, only to come away frustrated when the carrier’s four giant propellers dug into a mound of sediment after moving just 10 feet. A crowd of politicians, military officials and onlookers that had filled a neighboring pier to see the ship off left disappointed.
After that high-profile fiasco, Intrepid officials implored the United States Navy and the Army Corps of Engineers to help. They brought in divers to survey the river bottom under the ship and monitor the dredging of 39,000 cubic yards of mud to free the hull and the propellers.
That project, completed late last week at a cost of about $3 million, should have cleared the way for a smooth second effort, the engineers said. Col. Nello L. Tortora, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers in New York, said that since the tide yesterday was more than five feet higher than normal and the wind lighter than expected, “we got all the right conditions.”
Still, when the tugs revved their engines at 8:30 a.m., the going proved a little rougher and slower than expected. Combined, the three tugboats hooked to the stern had more than 15,000 horsepower. Two of them, the Christine M. McAllister and the Rowan M. McAllister, pulled on heavy iron chains to move the ship a few feet to one side and into a 35-foot-deep trench dredged in the bottom.
The chains clanged and the steel frame of the ship creaked. As the tugs heaved toward New Jersey, another tug, the Robert M. McAllister, pushed the stern away from the pier, then shifted around to join the others in pulling westward.
“Instantly, she moved the same 10 feet, and I said, ‘This is going to be easy,’ ” Mr. McAllister said. “And then she stopped and I said, ‘Oh, no.’ ”
Mr. McAllister urged the tugboat pilots to try to “wiggle” the hull to break the grip of the mud. Suddenly, the Intrepid started inching away. Soon, the pace picked up and the stern slipped past the dozens of observers gathered at the end of Pier 84 to the south. Just after 9 a.m., the Intrepid glided into the shipping channel for the first time since it arrived at Pier 86 in 1982. Two city fireboats saluted it by spraying streams of water into the air.
The former Intrepid crewmen, given a chance to feel their old ship moving under them one more time, were making the trip down the river for sentiment, not for comfort. It was cold.
“I’m a lot warmer now that we’re moving,” said Jack Hurff, a Linden, N.J., resident who served on the Intrepid from 1957 to 1960. “It’s a thrill for me to be back here and to be taking part in this historic moment.”
At 10:22 a.m., as the ship passed ground zero, 16 of the former crewmen managed to unfurl a giant American flag from an upper railing of the ship.
“I feel like I’m 21 again,” said Felix A. Novelli, 81, a Southampton, N.Y., resident who served on the Intrepid in the South Pacific from 1944 to 1946. Mr. Novelli said the Intrepid, which was commissioned in 1943 and survived five kamikaze attacks, a torpedo and a bombing in World War II service, would not be deterred by a few feet of mud.
“Determination can conquer almost anything,” Mr. Novelli said.
Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
More photos from that ^ NY Times article.
After three weeks of dredging provided by the United States Navy to clear the Intrepid’s four giant propellers from the river bottom for a
second try, the lead tug, the Christine M. McAllister, started pulling at 8:30 a.m.
For the first 25 minutes, the ship hardly budged, and officials who had gathered for the event looked concerned. But just before 9 a.m.,
the Intrepid began slipping away from the pier.
The Intrepid moving south along the Hudson River, with the midtown Manhattan skyline at rear.
Once the 900-foot-long World War II-era aircraft carrier was finally clear of the berth that has been its home since 1982, the tugs began
towing it stern-first down the river toward the Statue of Liberty in New York harbor.
The slow five-mile voyage to Bayonne, N.J., continues.
An aerial view.
The Intrepid passing Battery Park City.
The Intrepid passing the Statue of Liberty.
The aircraft carrier traveled down the Hudson River.
A huge flag was unfurled as the carrier passed ground zero and headed to drydock in Bayonne, N.J.
On board the Intrepid.
An aerial view.
Passing the Statue of Liberty.
The Statue of Liberty was visible through the window of an airplane on deck.
The Intrepid leaves Manhattan behind.
As the Intrepid arrived in Bayonne, N.J., a deck hand threw a docking chain to crew members who would tie the ship to the dock.
April 10, 2007
Intrepid to Be Dry-Docked for Repairs to Hull
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
The aircraft carrier Intrepid, the floating military museum, is scheduled to move again early today, but this short voyage should be much smoother than the ship’s difficult departure from Manhattan last year.
The Intrepid, which has been tied up at a cruise-ship mooring in Bayonne, N.J., since December, is bound for a two-month stay in an adjacent dry dock. This will be the first time the 41,000-ton ship has been out of water in 30 years, according to Bill White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.
A team of tugboats will push the Intrepid to the mouth of the dry dock, a concrete bathtub that is 52 feet deep and about 1,100 feet long, one end of which is removable. After the ship floats in, the removable section will be put back in place and pumps will drain the water.
Once the water is gone and the ship is standing on blocks of concrete and wood, a crew will patch and paint the Intrepid’s 64-year-old steel hull, Mr. White said. They will also remove the ship’s four giant propellers, which got stuck in the Hudson River mud during the first attempt to move the Intrepid in November, he said.
“We’re going to give it an extreme makeover, of sorts, cleaning it, repairing it and fixing it up,” Mr. White said.
The $4.8 million project will not be the last stop on the Intrepid’s leave from its longtime home at Pier 86 on the West Side of Manhattan. From Bayonne, the ship is scheduled to be towed to Staten Island, where its interior spaces will be renovated and new exhibits will be installed while museum officials await the construction of a replacement for Pier 86.
Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company
Racing the Clock to Bring Back the Intrepid
By PATRICK McGEEHAN
Published: May 21, 2008
Getting stuck in the mud on its first attempt to leave Manhattan was not the last or the least of the troubles that the aircraft carrier Intrepid has encountered in the past 18 months.
Damon Winter/The New York Times
The Intrepid houses a museum that was at risk of going out of business last year, as the costs of overhauling the carrier and rebuilding its home pier rose past $100 million, almost double the original estimate. More Photos »
Slide Show A High-Priced Voyage Home
The military museum the ship houses was at risk of going out of business last year, as the costs of overhauling the carrier and rebuilding its home pier spiraled past $100 million, almost double the original estimate, said Bill White, president of the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. To keep the work going and to stay on schedule to reopen this fall, the museum’s directors borrowed against the museum’s $15 million endowment, a move they had promised never to make, Mr. White said.
“This museum and this whole project was in danger of shutting down,” Mr. White said. “If we hadn’t taken this drastic measure to use the endowment, which I consider sacred, for this purpose, there would be no more Intrepid — unless someone was willing to write a check for 15, 20 million bucks.”
Now, with an electronic timer on a pier on the West Side counting down the days to the Intrepid’s return, museum officials are still pleading for additional public and private financing to complete the renovations on time. On the schedule that the museum set, the ship is due to be towed back from Staten Island on Oct. 2 — 134 days from Tuesday — and to have its official reopening on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
For most of the past year, the 900-foot-long carrier has been the only warship moored at the Homeport on the north shore of Staten Island. But this week, it will have company when some active military ships sail in for Fleet Week, an event that revolved around the Intrepid until last year.
To bring the ship back in style, Mr. White has pressed the trustees of the foundation that runs the museum and other supporters to pitch in $10 million. He also has lobbied elected officials, including the city’s five borough presidents and Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, to add as much as $10 million to the $25 million they already had promised to the Intrepid project.
But he has failed to persuade Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to let the museum sell naming rights to the pier, now known simply as Pier 86, to a corporation, said John Gallagher, a spokesman for the mayor. The mayor is considering allowing the sale of sponsorship of the Intrepid’s visitor center, which sits at the edge of the pier, Mr. Gallagher said.
With the city budget being squeezed, city officials have not decided how much, if any, additional money they will provide.
“We are aware that the Intrepid has been facing financial challenges and that the renovation expenses are exceeding their original budget,” said Anthony Hogrebe, a spokesman for the Council. He added that the Council expected the ship to float back on time, with or without additional public money.
Moving the Intrepid became synonymous with futility in November 2006 when, with a clutch of elected officials standing by, a team of tugboats failed to budge the carrier from its mooring. City officials required the removal so that the pier could be rebuilt. After the Navy dredged out more of the muck, tugs towed the ship away for the first time in 25 years.
To prevent a repeat of that initial embarrassment, the Army Corps of Engineers plans to dig an extra-wide slot in the river bottom before the return, Mr. White said. In all, the cost of moving the ship out and back will total about $19 million, four times the original estimate, he said.
The main improvements to the ship’s exterior were completed a year ago, when it spent a few weeks in dry dock in Bayonne, N.J., en route to the Homeport. Workers at Bayonne Dry Dock and Repair patched up parts of the hull and repainted the entire ship.
But when the time came for the dry dock operator to collect nearly $5 million for its work, the city funds were not yet available. Officials of the Hudson River Park Trust, the state authority that is the Intrepid’s landlord and manages payments to the contractors, asked the museum to come up with some other money to tide the company over.
Mr. White said he scraped together $100,000 and hand-delivered a check to Bayonne. The trust later paid off the debt and repaid the Intrepid’s $100,000, according to Noreen Doyle, a vice president of the trust. Ms. Doyle said the tight schedule set by the Intrepid’s managers necessitated such unusual measures.
“The whole thing has been crunch time,” Ms. Doyle said. “It’s a very aggressive project schedule.” Rebuilding the pier also will cost much more than initially expected. Mr. White said the original estimate for the pier was about $38 million. But with the prices of essential materials like steel and cement having soared and various amenities having been added to the pier, the total cost will exceed $60 million, he said.
At a board meeting in March, the Hudson River Park Trust’s directors approved an increase of $620,000, or about 40 percent, on the amount to be paid to Skanska, the construction manager for Pier 86 to account for all of the changes to the pier rebuilding plan.
A few weeks ago, workers installed the first of two stair towers that visitors will climb to reach the Intrepid’s main decks. Eventually, the pier, which will offer free access to the public, will have trees, seating and, if the museum can arrange its retrieval, a Concorde supersonic jet.
Before the ship left, museum officials struck a deal to temporarily move the plane from a barge tied to the pier to a recreation complex in Brooklyn. The original operators of that complex, Aviator Sports, agreed to pay $15,000 a month to borrow the plane and promised to return it this fall. But the managers who took over last year did not inherit that obligation, and Mr. White said he did not know who would pay for its return, at an estimated cost of at least $250,000.
Another of the museum’s popular exhibitions, a decommissioned nuclear-powered submarine named the Growler, produced an unpleasant surprise when it was towed to Brooklyn. The crew found holes in the sub’s hull, pushing the cost of repairing it past $1 million, Mr. White said.
Getting the museum ready to welcome paying visitors again will be another matter. Last week, moored next to a fire boat at the Homeport on Staten Island, the dark gray Intrepid looked more like an abandoned warehouse than a museum.
Weeds sprouted from its flight deck. The wooden surface of one its exterior elevators had been crushed by forklifts that hoisted equipment on and off the ship.
Inside its cavernous hangar deck stood several vintage warplanes and helicopters that had been restored, their wings and rotors shrouded in plastic wrap. The only sounds emanated from the machines four young men in face masks used to strip the top layer off the steel floor.
With less than five months remaining on the deadline clock, Mr. White and his staff are pushing an ambitious plan to revamp most of the ship’s interior. They have hired a design firm to reinstall the exhibitions in a more cohesive layout and open to the public sections of the ship where crewmen worked, slept and ate. The aim, said Susan Marenoff, the museum’s executive director, will be to emphasize “the humanity behind the hardware.”
Mr. White said he also hoped to repair a flight elevator that carried fighter planes to the top deck for takeoff so that museumgoers could ride it. He said that executives of Otis Elevator Company had agreed to fix the giant platform and that the Disabled American Veterans had pledged to sponsor that part of the project. Dave Autry, a spokesman for the veterans group in Washington, said its charitable trust had recommended a grant of $450,000 for the repair.
“We can’t just slap a paint job” on the ship, Mr. White said. “We need to make a new museum. It’s got to come back brand-spanking new.”
Mr. White acknowledged that the museum probably would not be exactly shipshape when it returned. The last few weeks before the reopening will be a true scramble. Along with completing the interior redesign, the remaining tasks will include connecting the new power and plumbing lines from the pier. Crews will also have to adjust for the ship’s rising and falling with the Hudson River tides until the muck takes hold of it again.
Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
USS Intrepid, war museum, faces new peril _ money
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 24, 2008
Filed at 1:33 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (AP) -- Once it was Japanese torpedoes and kamikaze suicide planes. Then, the threat of the wrecking ball. Now, it's money -- or the lack of it -- that could imperil the future of the USS Intrepid.
Nineteen months after tugboats pried it from the mud at its Hudson River pier and towed it away for a much-needed renovation, the legendary World War II aircraft carrier needs a sizable infusion of cash to resume its postwar career as a floating military museum.
If all goes according to plan, the ship will be brought back in early October and formally reopened to the public on Nov. 11, Veterans Day.
That depends on finding the wherewithal to complete a job that was first estimated at $65 to $70 million and is now expected to cost $110 million, said Bill White, president of the USS Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum. Of that total, $66 million is for rebuilding its city-owned pier, and the rest for the museum ship.
In a move he said he never expected would be necessary, White has put the Intrepid's $15 million endowment up as collateral to cover expenses. That money would be repaid, he said. He also asked the federal government to pony up more money for costs of returning the ship, including $9 million to $12 million for dredging a trench for it to rest in.
White insisted, however, that both monetary goals and the November deadline will be met.
''We are going to get this done, come hell or high water -- hopefully, the latter,'' he said.
Intrepid, one of the Navy's fabled Essex-class carriers widely credited with winning the Pacific war, was launched in 1943 and fought in every major battle prior to Japan's surrender in 1945. It repeatedly sustained heavy damage, was patched up and sent back into the fray. Intrepid served in the Korean and Vietnam wars and was twice a recovery ship for Mercury astronauts before being retired in 1974.
Among five WWII carriers serving today as floating museums, none has a combat record to match the ship that survived five kamikaze attacks and lost 270 crew members.
''We want people to understand that while $110 million is a lot of money, it is difficult to put a price on honoring our nation's heroes,'' said White, a former restaurateur who has raised millions for the Intrepid museum and its related charitable enterprises serving families of dead and wounded service members.
''The idea that this ship could survive all that it did in wartime and 60 years later face a new threat to its existence would be unacceptable. To be without USS Intrepid is unimaginable and that is never going to happen,'' he said.
Once ensconced at its Hudson River pier in 1981, the old warship needed time to gain public acceptance. Except for the annual Fleet Week visitation -- ongoing this week -- the U.S. Navy rarely shows up in New York City and is largely ignored when it does. Over time, both the Intrepid and its city-owned pier deteriorated so badly that in November 2006, the ship was ingloriously dragged out of the mud and towed to New Jersey for the two-year overhaul.
At every stage, the work has cost more than had been anticipated. Just pulling the ship out of 17 feet of mud and bringing it back will cost some $19 million, nearly four times the original estimate, White said. That includes dredging the new trench where the ship will rest as the mud again embraces and protects the aging hull.
The pier itself had to be replaced with a new 700-foot structure on pilings sunk into the harbor bed, said Noreen Doyle, a vice president of the Hudson River Park Trust, a nonprofit that manages the city-owned shoreline park extending along Manhattan's west side.
The total cost of the pier, in a complicated mix of public funds and money raised by the Intrepid, will be about $66 million, well above an original estimate of some $38 million.
The Intrepid now sits at a former Navy pier on Staten Island, looking not all that much better than when real estate tycoon Zachary Fisher ransomed it from a Philadelphia scrapyard in 1979 and turned into one of the city's most popular tourist attractions.
While its 900-foot hull has been repaired and repainted Navy gray, the interior is a jumbled work in progress, as workers open up crew quarters and other spaces not previously accessible to the public and create new exhibits on the hangar deck. When the $10 million installation is complete, interactive digital displays will be side by side with real WWII aircraft and a Soviet-built MiG-21 in an open space running the length of the ship.
The emphasis, along with tourism, will be on education, in keeping with K-12 science and history programs that the museum already sponsors in city schools, drawing some 50,000 students a year, says Intrepid director Susan Marenoff.
The ship's collection of some three dozen aircraft -- some of them rare -- has undergone refurbishment elsewhere, and efforts are under way to trace each one's history and find pilots who flew them to get their stories on record.
On the Net:
Intrepid Museum: http://www.intrepidmuseum.org
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press
...for the "Intrepid" updates.I have been wondering about the ship's fate since the shutdown a couple years ago.
Despite my aversion to doing anything overtly "touristy" when I visit New York,I found myself magnetically drawn to Intrepid--three times,in total.
The first time,back in '99, I was alone and looking to kill a few hours.I thought of visiting "Intrepid" as a way to pass some time while I'm in the City,but I found--to my amusement--that I was fascinated by it.I realized,as I plied it's decks and corridors,that I was within the belly of History,surrounded by artifact aircraft and walking the same path as my Dad,who served 4 years in the Pacific part of WW II and used to tell vivid stories of travelling from Island to Island aboard "Intrepid" while it was under assault.It was worth the time spent.
And the view of Midtown from the flight deck was unmatched,itself worth the price of admission.
The second time,in early '02,I flew my son Tony up from Florida to spend a few days in The City with me,and we both went.The carrier and it's displays were no longer just a curiosity.It was a must-see,a necessary component of a NYC visit.
Now my son was walking along the same path my Dad and I had once trod.By then,the amazing SR-71 had joined the aircraft on the flight deck.I watched Tony feel the titanium skin of the Blackbird,and sensing it's tinfoil-thickness stand back in reverence when he realized that the thin skin was the only protection the airplane could depend upon when it was flying at 1,200 MPH,somewhere in the Ionosphere.
Then we toured the submarine and both were enveloped by a seemingly genetic claustrophobia.A rewarding day.
Finally,in '05,Tony,his wife and my two grandsons (age 6 and 9 ) linked up with me again,and we spent a rainy day watching the kids discover the old paths,now making it 4 generations of Hofs who had been aboard.They went through the sub (Tony and I had sodas on deck while they went,preferring to NOT revisit our communal phobia ),we ogled at the Concorde,and (it was Fleet Week ) we all got a free tour of a working warship,the "Iwo Jima",moored alongside "Intrepid".
Time spent on "Intrepid" has reinforced my opinion of the ship.I think it is a true asset to New York,a most unique museum and a reminder of when this country was a beacon of power and freedom for the world.
Losing "Intrepid" would be a big negative for The City.
Whatever funding needed to restore the carrier and return it to it's pier MUST be found.
Thanks for sharing your memories with us Hof.
Very interesting, as always.