Saratoga County

Zim Smith, tech campus trail link contract near

Bicyclists and hikers can expect to have a new trail to use in the Ballston Creek valley by this fal

Bicyclists and hikers can expect to have a new trail to use in the Ballston Creek valley by this fall.

Construction contracts should be awarded next week for a new off-road recreation path linking the Zim Smith Trail to local trails in the Luther Forest Technology Campus.

The Town Board is prepared to award a nearly $900,000 contract to Kubricky Construction of Glens Falls when it meets Monday, officials said.

Federal transportation grant money is covering the $803,006 cost of building the 1.3-mile connector trail, while the town will spend $95,508 to repave the off-road trail that runs along Plains Road in the Luther Forest housing development.

All the work should be done by Oct. 31, said Town Comptroller Kevin King.

The new trail connection has been in planning for four years, since before completion of the Saratoga County-owned Zim Smith Trail and construction of an off-road trail system in the technology campus.

The new trail will run through the Ballston Creek valley, and some preparatory work was done several years ago when the Round Lake Bypass was being built.

The new trail will meet the Zim Smith Trail near where it goes under the Northway. It will use the Northway’s eastern embankment to cross over the Ballston Creek, then go onto a former trolley line owned by the land conservation group Saratoga PLAN. It will then run along the creek, passing under the Round Lake Bypass bridge. It then will go uphill to Route 9 near the bypass roundabout. From there, it’s only a short distance to the main entrance to the technology campus, which has an extensive trail system.

The town recently went to state Supreme Court and used its eminent domain power to obtain the necessary land between the trolley line and Route 9 from a private landowner.

The Zim Smith Trail is a popular inter municipal recreation trail. It provides a non-motorized route between Halfmoon and Ballston Spa for pedestrians, cyclists and horses, and snowmobiles are allowed to use the trails in winter. Efforts are under way to extend the trail in both directions, toward Mechanicville and Saratoga Spa State Park.

In addition to the construction contract, the Town Board will be awarding a $155,000 construction inspection contract to Creighton Manning Engineering of Albany, which has done most of the construction design work.

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