Montgomery County

Montgomery County gets funds to repave part of Erie Canalway Trail

Montgomery County and elected officials announced Wednesday they had secured funding to resurface an

Montgomery County and elected officials announced Wednesday they had secured funding to resurface and repave the county’s portion of the Erie Canalway Trail.

The trail runs for 40 miles through Montgomery County along the Mohawk River, from St. Johnsville in the west to past Amsterdam in the east. Portions of the trail that are already paved will be resurfaced and repaved, while portions that are covered in stone dust will be paved.

Funding comes through three separate grants from the NYS Canal Corporation, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, and a capital grant secured by State Senator George A. Amedore Jr., R-Niskayuna.

The county DPW will perform the work on the trail. Taken together, the three grants and the money the county is chipping in for labor amount to nearly $700,000, said the county executive’s office.

“The Erie Canalway Trail is one of our greatest recreational assets in Montgomery County,” said County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort. “To pave the trail and complete it from one end to the other will make for a better and safer experience for residents and travelers who use the trail and will help showcase the outdoor recreational opportunities that Montgomery County has to offer.”

The county expects work to begin once all the funds are distributed, and to be completed next summer. “In the meantime, crews have traveled the length of the trail to clear brush and prepare for the project,” said the county executive’s office.

Amedore, Jr. designated Montgomery County to receive a capital grant in the amount of $225,000 to go toward the project, with the balance coming from the two other grants and the county.

“This is making Montgomery County stronger,” Amedore told The Daily Gazette. “I really believe it’s a trail constantly being used by cyclists and pedestrians from out of the area who come to Montgomery County to enjoy our scenic views and all the county has to offer.”

Ossenfort’s office said this latest enhancement to the Erie Canalway Trail is a complement to other initiatives that have occurred recently in the county. Last weekend the 18th Annual Erie Canalway Bike Tour completed its eight-day, 400-mile ride along the trail from Buffalo to Albany. Seven-hundred-and-fifty riders participated in the tour, according to Parks & Trails NY director of development Meegan Finnegan. It was the tour’s largest turnout ever.

The Mohawk Valley Gateway Pedestrian Bridge, which spans the Mohawk River in Amsterdam, is also set to open on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. The project is designed to connect the city’s south side with its downtown. The Erie Canalway Trail is less than a quarter-mile from the pedestrian bridge, a $16.5 million project that began in 2014.

The Erie Canalway Trail runs 360 miles through 14 counties from Buffalo to Albany. The trail is estimated to have 1.6 million annual visits, according to a study by Parks & Trails New York in 2014.

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