Construction begins on trail projects in Niagara County, Mohawk Valley, Central NY

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Credit: Old Erie Canal of CNY

The New York State Canal Corporation and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced construction on a 2.1-mile stretch of the Erie Canalway Trail in Niagara County and a five-mile section in the Mohawk Valley. In addition, the agencies also announced the start of construction on an upgrade of a 12-mile section of Old Erie Canal State Historic Park in Central New York.

The Empire State Trail, which will include the Erie Canalway Trail, Hudson River Greenway and Champlain Valley Trail, is expected to be completed in 2020. It will comprise a 750-mile network of bicycle and walking trails, and stretch from New York City to the Canadian border, and from Albany west to Buffalo.

A new section of trail in Niagara County will run from Tonawanda Creek Road to Feigle/Fisk Road. It will link up on the western end with a four-mile section of the trail completed in late 2015 between Feigle/Fisk Road and Stevens Street in Lockport. It will provide for an uninterrupted 135-mile stretch of trail, from Buffalo to Lyons. Completion is expected in summer 2019.

Mohawk Valley

New York State Parks is constructing a new nearly five-mile paved trail section between South Amsterdam and Pattersonville, following the path of a former railroad line. The $1.75 million project will help close a gap in the Erie Canalway Trail that currently diverts users to Route 5S, a busy high-speed roadway. The project includes building the 10-foot-wide trail, rehabilitating two railroad bridges and creating a new parking lot near Lock E-10 in Amsterdam.

Central New York

The $2-million project will upgrade the deteriorated section of the Old Erie Canal State Historic Park in Madison and Onondaga counties with a new stone-dust surface from Lakeport Road in Chittenango west to Green Lakes State Park in Fayetteville, about 12 miles of surfacing improvements.

The project will install a paved asphalt surface on a 1.6-mile section of the trail east from Lakeport Road to Canaseraga Road in Chittenango, creating a 3.2-mile “out-and-back” opportunity for trail users seeking a fully accessible section. Trail entrances at roadway intersections and at points of abrupt grade changes will also be paved to eliminate erosion.

Work on both projects is expected to be completed this summer.

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