(Schenectady County, NY) The Schenectady County Legislature today touted a report released earlier this year by the NYS Canal Corporation and Parks & Trails New York which showed that in 2017, Schenectady County’s Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail at Lions Park in Niskayuna was the most used section of the entire New York State Erie Canalway Trial.
“The Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail is one of the great recreational and quality of life assets we have in Schenectady County,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Schenectady County Legislature. “This study is proof that our continued efforts to create a safe trail for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors have been worth our investment.”
The 13th Annual Trail County Study looked at six locations along the canalway trail, using electronic counters to continuously measure trail usage along with some volunteer data collectors. The study found that Lions Park in Niskayuna had an annual usage of more than 180,000 users. The next closest was Cedar Bay Park in DeWitt with 122,000 users.
The Schenectady County Legislature has invested nearly $5 million in upgrades and improvements to the bike-hike trail since 2008 (see attached list of projects), including connecting the trail for the first time through all of Schenectady County from Rotterdam to the Niskayuna/Colonie Town line. Other projects include improvements to the trail crossing at Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction and at Aqueduct Road in Niskayuna, and new interpretive trail signage and paving with upgrades to bollards and gates throughout the trail.
In 2018 the new Alco Heritage Trail will open and cover the entire length of riverfront from the Front Street neighborhood in Schenectady to Freeman’s Bridge in Glenville. A $30,000 design study funded by the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council and Metroplex will also be completed in 2018 that will explore ways to connect the new Alco Heritage Trail to the Western Gateway Bridge.
“Schenectady County will continue to look for ways to improve our bike-hike trail that will benefit our residents and visitors alike,” continue Chair Jasenski. Chair Jasenski has asked Governor Cuomo to include funding to complete trail sections in Rotterdam Junction using funding from the Empire State Trail program.
Schenectady County Bike-Hike Trail Re-development and Upgrades since 2008
- SCCC – Stockade Bike Trail Connection ($825,000 – Federal & County Funds).
Project completed a key section of trail between the Washington Avenue/State Route 5 intersection in Schenectady and the former bike trail terminus at Schenectady County Community College (approximately ½ mile). This linked the trail from Stockade (corner of State and Washington) to the former trail stopping point at SCCC. ________________________________________________________________________________
- City Bike Trail Rehabilitation ($1,000,000 – NYS Canal Corporation Capital Funds).
Rehabilitated and widened 3.4 miles of existing bike trail between North Jay Street in the City of Schenectady and Aqueduct Road in the Town of Niskayuna. Also included signage for a 1.3 mile on-street segment in the City between Jay Street and Schenectady County Community College.
- State Route 5S Trail Crossing Improvements ($192,000 – Federal CMAQ & County Funds)
Project constructed an improved bike trail crossing of State Rt. 5S in the Town of Rotterdam. The Project included trail realignment, improved signage/markings and flashing warning beacons. Construction was completed in September 2015.
- Bike Trail Bollard/Access Control Project ($237,000 – federal/local)
Project included the redesign and reconstruction of the existing bollards/access control structures along the Mohawk Hudson Bike trail in the Town of Rotterdam. The project consisted of replacing or removing existing bollards/access control structures at 11 locations and installing additional bicycle rail, signs and striping at various locations along approximately 9 miles of the Bike Trail in Rotterdam. Construction was completed in the fall of 2016.
- Alco Riverside Bike Trail Construction ($1,000,000 – Metroplex/NYS/Private)
The ALCO Mohawk River Multi-Use Trail project is funded by Schenectady County and the Metroplex Development Authority in partnership with the New York State Department of State and Canal Corporation through the New York State CFA Grant Program.
The project involves construction of approximately 1.3 miles of multi-use path along the north side of Maxon Road from the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail at Technology Drive to Freeman’s Bridge/Erie Boulevard and through the ALCO redevelopment site (Mohawk Harbor) to River Street. Construction is 90 percent complete. Final construction scheduled for spring 2018.
The project is part of an inter-municipal effort to better connect the regional Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail and statewide Canalway Trail through the City of Schenectady. The project will significantly improve the continuity of the off-road trail system by providing a safe alternative route for trail users wishing to remain off busy local streets and travel through the City along the river. The project will also improve public access to the Mohawk River and is a key component of the Mohawk Harbor mixed use redevelopment.
- Bike Trail Rehabilitation ($400,000 – state/local)
With financial assistance from the NYS Canal Corporation through the state CFA program the County has been systematically re-paving the Bike trail in the Town of Rotterdam. The trail was re-paved in the fall of 2016 and spring of 2017 from just west of Lock 8 west to the newly paved section at the Exit 26 Bridge. The project paved approximately 2 miles of the bike trail in the Town of Rotterdam and is a continuation of two previous Canal Corporation funded bike trail rehabilitation CFA projects completed in 2014 ($100,000) and 2015 ($150,000). Total costs for the three project were approximately $400,000.
- Aqueduct Road Trail Crossing Improvements ($100,000 – federal/local)
As part of pavement preservation of Aqueduct Road the project constructed an improved bike trail crossing of Aqueduct Road in the Town of Niskayuna. The Project included improved signage/markings and flashing warning beacons. Construction was completed in January 2017.
- Niskayuna Soccer Fields Trail Connection ($155,000 – federal/local)
The project involved the construction of 1,200 LF of 10’ wide asphalt multi-use path from Zenner Road to the Mohawk Hudson Bike Path. Completed in the spring of 2017.
- Flower Hill Road to Rosendale Road Bike Trail Connection ($600,000 – federal/local)
The project involved the construction of 1,500 LF of 10’ wide asphalt multi-use path from the end of the Flower Hill cul-de-sac to Rosendale Road (CR 158) and an existing trail spur along the Ferry Road Bridge. Project includes mid-block crosswalk with flashing beacons, some minor guardrail work and access control as needed. Project is 90 percent complete awaiting installation of the flashing beacons in the spring of 2018.
- Bike Trail Rehabilitation ($215,000 – federal/local)
Project includes re-paving approximately 2.5 miles of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in Rotterdam. The trail will be re-paved from NYS Route 5S to Scrafford Lane and from Iroquois Street to the trail’s terminus at the CSX bridge over NYS Route 5S. Construction is scheduled for 2018.
This project will pave the remaining portion of trail and will complement the County’s recent federally funded NYS Route 5S trail crossing upgrade, trail bollard retrofit project, and three previous paving/drainage improvement projects.
Over the past three years the County has been re-paving the Bike Trail in the Town of Rotterdam. With matching grants from the NYS Canal Corporation, the County has recently paved approximately 5.5 miles of the trail from the Community College west to NYS Route 5S. After completion of this project, the County will have re-paved the entire 9 miles of bike trail in Rotterdam between 2014 and 2018.
- Bike Trail Extension Feasibility Study ($30,000)
Schenectady County, in coordination with the Metroplex Development Authority, was awarded a NYS CFA grant to examine the feasibility of extending the Mohawk Hudson Bike Trail approximately 850 LF from its proposed new terminus at River Street in the City of Schenectady to Riverside Park in the Stockade Historic District. Bergmann Associates was hired to provide survey and preliminary engineering to determine the feasibility of extending the trail west from River Street under the CSX tracks to Riverside Park.
The project is part of the final phase of an inter-municipal effort to better connect the regional Mohawk-Hudson Bike Trail and statewide Canalway Trail through the City of Schenectady. The project will significantly improve the continuity of the off road trail system by providing a safe alternative route for trail users wishing to remain off busy local streets and travel through the City along the south shore of the Mohawk River and through the Mohawk Harbor Development site.
The study should be complete by the spring of 2018.
Director of Communications, Schenectady County