2009-09-25 / Community

Mystery Solved: Stilt Ship Testing For Pipeline

The Stilt Ship off the shores of Rockaway. The Stilt Ship off the shores of Rockaway. For weeks, local residents have been reporting a strange ship standing up in the water on the ocean side of the peninsula.

The ship, which appears to have no name, does not venture into choppy water but it spends its days up on stilts off the Rockaway shore.

About 50 feet long, the ship has telescoping legs that go down and sit on the ocean bottom, allowing the hull to lift off the water and be stable.

The ship had become a hot topic on the west end of the peninsula.

Now, however, the mystery of the stilt ship has been solved.

Thanks to a tip from Wave graphic artist Don Rodrigues, the paper was able to track down the owners of the ship - Williams Transco - to find out what it is doing off our shores.

And, what it is doing is taking core samples from the ocean for a new project called The Rockaway Delivery Lateral, that will allow the energy company to pump natural gas from its Station 195 in southeastern Pennsylvania through an existing pipeline called the Lower New York Bay Lateral to the new pipeline that will transport the natural gas through Gateway National Park around Fort Tilden and then connect to local National Grid supply facilities.

The pipeline, the company says, will come on line in late 2012 or early 2013.

The new pipeline will allow Williams to "provide supply diversity and reliability to our northeastern customers," says a spokesperson for Williams - Transco. "This develops a new delivery point into the heavily-congested New York City area."

A spokesperson for the company says that it has all the proper permits for the new pipeline and that the plan was approved by the National Park Service, the agency which owns and runs Gateway National Recreation Area.

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