Schenectady County

Work planned along Scotia waterfront

A bike trail, street lighting and docks that will host the historic replica ship Onrust are all part

A bike trail, street lighting and docks that will host the historic replica ship Onrust are all part of the second phase of Scotia’s waterfront revitalization project to be completed by next summer.

The first phase, completed earlier this year, stabilized about a half-mile of rapidly eroding shoreline alone Schonowee Avenue between Jumpin’ Jack’s drive-in restaurant and Washington Road near the former sewage treatment plant. Now, the village is turning its attention to the second phase, which consists of aesthetic improvements.

Mayor Kris Kastberg said the existing walkway along the river and Freedom Park would be extended and access improved for people with strollers and wheelchairs. The existing decrepit walkway would be removed and handicapped stairs down to the dock would be installed. They would also replace all of the timbers of the terrace seating and install a sprinkler system to help the grass, which gets ruined with so many people walking on it, according to Kastberg.

A new combination walkway and bike trail will extend to the old bridge abutment. They will install historic looking lights similar to the ones on Mohawk Avenue, which will automatically turn off at 10 p.m.

There will be 220 feet of dock frontage with slips for eight boats, hookups for water and electricity and two gangways. The dock will be hosting the Onrust, a full-size replica of the first European ship built in the Americas, which is intended as a floating classroom.

The Lions Club is interested in refurbishing the area near the riverbank, according to Kastberg. The village plans to demolish the old sewage treatment plant and remove the guard rail and industrial-looking elements.

One idea is to construct a 9/11 memorial in that grassy spot using two of the girders from the World Trade Center, Kastberg said. This would make a nice complement to the existing 9/11 monument at the Water’s Edge Lighthouse Restaurant, which would effectively tie together those two ends of the bike path.

There would also be some refurbished information kiosks that would be vandal-proof.

The cost of the work is being covered by two grants totaling $1.6 million. One was a $900,000 grant from the State Emergency Management Office and the other a $760,000 grant from the state’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program.

The $760,000 is being targeted for this second phase of work. However, Kastberg said the village has to use about $252,000 of the grant to serve as matching funds for the other grant, so that may limit what it can do.

If there are any more funds in the budget, the village could install a pavilion on Beach Road.

There is a pretty aggressive schedule for the project, which Kastberg said is going out to bid soon. The old treatment plant would be demolished around April 10, the improvements around the Freedom Park stage would be completed by May 15 and the walkway and bike path would be completed by May 29.

The docks would be in and operational around July 10.

Kastberg is pleased that the project, which will be going out to bid soon, can be accomplished in one construction season.

“It looks like we’ll be in full swing with everything completed by the peak of our summer season,” he said.

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