There are few bodies of water more iconic than the New York Hudson River, with its breathtaking scenery and majestic bridges. Millions of tourists will gather around parks, ports and boats just to catch a glimpse of the famous scenery. What is most intriguing for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), however, is what cannot be seen by the tourist eye—what lies beneath the surface of the Hudson River.
The USACE is responsible for maintaining all federal navigation channels. The Hudson Federal Navigation Channel is a high-traffic commerce thoroughfare, with more than 16 tons of cargo and nearly 900,000 cruise line passengers traversing the waterway annually. Due to the high traffic volume, the USACE’s New York District conducts yearly hydrographic surveys to monitor the condition of the channel and report any obstructions that could impede safe navigation.
McKim & Creed was charged with mapping 63 miles of the Hudson River Navigation Channel. To meet the new requirements, McKim & Creed’s hydrographic surveyors employed our state-of-the-art R2 sonic multibeam system, which covers a 160° swath (~3.5 x water depth) with high-resolution bathymetry and imagery. The data was so crystal clear that we could identify the ribs of a shipwrecked vessel resting on the bottom of the river. And the data was so squeaky clean that processing time was significantly accelerated.
With multibeam, McKim & Creed was able to locate and identify multiple artifacts in and around the channel, and help keep this iconic waterway safe and navigable.