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Hamilton Bridge. Photo by ©Mitch Waxman


Hidden Harbor Tour® of Gowanus Bay
including: Erie Basin, Red Hook and Sunset Park!

Thursday, 16 June from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Pier 11 in lower Manhattan

Special Guest Speakers: Captain Margaret Flanagan, Maritime Operations, Waterfront Alliance and Joseph Alexiou, tour guide and author of “Gowanus Brooklyn’s Curious Canal.”


Recycling Facility on the Sunset Park waterfront. Photo by ©Mitch Waxman


Come explore the changing face along the South Brooklyn’s waterfront! Learn about the history of Red Hook, Gowanus Bay, Erie Basin & Sunset Park with the Working Harbor Committee.

Our expert narrators will enthrall you with tales of how the shore along the harbor’s Upper Bay were once filled with manufacturing, shipping, and commerce.


MV Loujaine and Red Hook Grain Terminal . Photo by ©Mitch Waxman


See the new waterfront recycling facility at Gowanus Bay with its wind-turbine, the slag ship MV Loujaine and the Big Grain Elevator close-up.

Our 2-hour, fully narrated boat tour departs at 6PM sharp. Boarding begins at 5:45 PM from Pier 11 Wall Street in Manhattan located on South St. between Wall St. & Gouverneur Lane. Snack bar on board.

Tickets are selling fast so book today!


Union Street Bridge from Carroll Street. Photo by Jim Henderson (CC 1.0)


For 111 years, the double-leafed bascule Union Street drawbridge has spanned the Gowanus Canal. First opened in 1905, the movable bridge opens for maritime traffic, although it has not been called to do so for several years.

Mid-span on the Union Street Bridge over the Gowanus Canal. Photo by Steven Pisano (CC 2.0)


The city says the bridge is is in really bad shape and needs to be replaced.  The community has the opportunity to choose between a moveable span and a fixed one.

A fixed span would put an end to maritime vessels accessing the canal beyond, and would definitely hinder cleanup of the Superfund site. It would also cause contaminated dredge materials to be transported in trucks through city streets and residential neighborhoods, versus on barges via the canal itself.

video by Roman O


Said Joseph Alexiou, a journalist, historian and the author of Gowanus: Brooklyn’s Curious Canal to the Brooklyn Eagle“I think it should be a drawbridge because it retains a certain fabric of the neighborhood, which we are increasingly losing. Also, it would allow us to keep some toxic waste from being trucked through a residential community and the streets of New York.” 

Union Street Bridge. Photo by Steven Pisano (CC 2.0)


Should the Union Street bridge be replaced with a fixed roadway? Should a new working drawbridge be built in its place? Sadly, I don’t see an option on the table for saving and restoring the historic span…


posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee


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