SARATOGA SPRINGS - The long-planned Geyser Road Trail alongside the city's Geyser Crest neighborhood has cleared its last legal hurdle and construction can proceed, Mayor Meg Kelly said.
Land acquisition issues -- including a proposed eminent domain taking that has tied the project up -- are settled, she said, so the project can go to construction bid. Detailed engineering design work has already been done.
"The Geyser Road Trail has been a challenging project, but Saratoga Springs has a history of making these kinds of projects happen," Kelly said in a release. "My administration has been tenacious in its efforts to bring this to closure, and it has paid off."
The next step is for the project to go to bid, and the cost and a construction timeline will depend on the contractor submissions. The estimated cost is $3.5 million, most of which will be covered by federal or state grant money.
The 2.8-mile trail will run parallel to Geyser Road from the Milton town line to Route 50 at the Saratoga Spa State Park. It has been in some stage of development for at least a decade. It will run along the north side of Geyser Road, and give pedestrians or people using bicycles an alternative to walking or riding on the shoulder of busy Geyser Road.
Geyser Road is used by about 5,500 vehicles per day west of the Grande Industrial Park, and more than 11,000 vehicles in the section between the industrial park and Route 50, which includes a bridge over railroad tracks. The bridge has room for the trail.
The amount of traffic, along with the railroad tracks separating Geyser Crest from the rest of the city, has lead to residents calling for an off-road trail to be available for them to get to Saratoga Spa State Park and the rest of the city.
The trail is also expected to be part of the Saratoga Greenbelt Trail, a long-range plan for a 23-mile mostly off-road loop of trails encircling the city, which Saratoga Springs officials like to describe as the "City in the Country."