Work will begin Monday on a $1.2 million project to extend the state bike-hike trail through Schenectady County, resulting in some temporary closures of the path, according to Carmella Mantello, director of the state Canal Corp.
“Our objective is to keep as much of the trail open as possible during the work,” Mantello said. The project is scheduled to be completed by late October or early November.
The state plans to rehabilitate a four-mile section of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail and Erie Canalway Trail between Washington Avenue in Schenectady and Route 146 in Niskayuna. Federal stimulus money is paying for the work.
Mantello said when portions of the trail are closed for work, parallel roadways will be available to link trail segments that are open for use.
The new connection will follow Union Street through the Stockade, turning left on North Jay Street through Little Italy to Union College. This portion of the trail will be on-road with special signs for hikers and bikers.
The next section of the trail, covering 3.4 miles, is off-road. It will be rebuilt as a wider trail with improved intersections and better drainage and connect from Union College to Balltown Road in Niskayuna.
The project includes construction of a new 10-foot-wide asphalt trail between Jay Street and Route 146.
The bike-hike trail is part of the 500-mile-long Canalway Trail System that runs between Lake Erie and the Hudson River. Currently, the path from the west stops when it reaches Schenectady County Community College, then continues from Washington Avenue east into Albany County. The gap has existed for 20 years.
Mantello said the project “will not only make for a smoother ride along the trail, but it will make it easier for visitors to navigate along the trail.”