Construction is underway on more than $36 million of Empire State Trail projects in Onondaga County this year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says in a statement. The projects will complete a continuous Empire State Trail cycling and pedestrian route through Syracuse by eliminating the current 14-mile gap through Camillus, Syracuse and DeWitt.
The projects will close the largest gap in the Erie Canalway section of the Empire State Trail, which is expected to be completed in 2020 and will create a 750-mile pathway from New York City to Canada and from Albany to Buffalo.
“These projects mark another significant step forward in completing the Empire State Trail, an outdoor tourism and recreation destination for both residents and visitors alike,” Cuomo said. “Upon completion, this trail will connect communities across the Finger Lakes, Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, driving tourism and boosting economies in these crucial regions of the state.”
A series of trail projects by New York State and local partners will help link the center of Syracuse with existing trails west to Rochester and east to Utica to create the 750-mile Empire State Trail by 2020. Projects include:
- The New York State Department of Transportation will connect the Erie Boulevard corridor between DeWitt and Syracuse by expanding and enhancing existing bike lanes and pedestrian trails. This $27 million project includes reducing Erie Boulevard by one lane in each direction between Beech and Bridge Streets to create an off-road bike and pedestrian trail.
- Onondaga County will invest $9 million to extend the Loop the Lake Trail around Onondaga Lake, including building a bicycle/pedestrian bridge over the CSX railroad tracks at the southern end the lake, making a crucial connection to downtown Syracuse.
Honeywell Corporation will complete construction of the Loop the Lake Trail on the southwest side of Onondaga Lake, and will build a new 3.5-mile off-road trail from the lake west to Camillus. The new trail is one of the natural resource mitigation projects Honeywell is completing as part of its Onondaga Lake cleanup efforts.
- The New York State Fair will invest $500,000 to create an Empire State Trail Gateway to welcome bicyclists and trail visitors to the fairgrounds.