Local & State Grants Secured To Pave Erie Canalway Trail From St. Johnsville To Amsterdam
FONDA — On Wednesday, County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort and State Senator George A. Amedore, Jr., announced that funding has been secured to pave and resurface the entire portion of the Erie Canalway Trail that goes through Montgomery County.
The nearly 40-mile stretch will be totally resurfaced and sections that are currently stone dust or unpaved will be paved with asphalt completing the trail with parts that have already been paved. When completed, residents will be able to travel from St. Johnsville, in the west, all the way to Amsterdam.
The funding was secured through separate grants from the New York State Canal Corporation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation and through a capital grant that Senator Amedore secured. In total, the three grants and the money the county has committed through administration work and labor amounts to nearly $700,000.
“The Erie Canalway Trail is one of our greatest recreational assets in Montgomery County,” Ossenfort said. “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.”
Amedore designated Montgomery County to receive this capital grant, in the amount of $225,000, which will help make upkeep easier and less expensive and ensure greater safety for those enjoying activities on the trail.
“Montgomery County is fortunate to have this tremendous natural resource, and the Canalway Trail provides great recreational opportunities for both residents and visitors,” said Senator Amedore. “The current state of the path in some parts make it expensive to maintain, and can pose a safety hazard. I was glad to be able to secure these funds that will make the upkeep easier and less expensive for the County, and help ensure greater safety for those who are enjoying activities on the paths.”
The County’s Department of Public Works will be completing the project and will begin work once all of the funding is distributed. In the meantime, crews have traveled the length of the trail to clear brush and prepare for the project. The county estimates that the project will be completed in the summer 2017.
This is the latest in exciting announcements in Montgomery County that revolve around the great natural resource that is the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
On July 11, the Governor’s Office announced the opening of the Lock E-13 Living History Rest Stop, on the westbound side of the New York State Thruway, between the Fonda and Canajoharie exits. This rest stop features information on this historic tourism destination and includes a Taste NY store, which is operated by Liberty ARC. This facility highlights the historic Erie Canal and the area’s rich history.
Just this past weekend, the Cycle The Erie Canal group made its way through the county, stopping in Canajoharie on the evening of July 15. This group features hundreds of cyclists from across the country and around the world who journey on an annual eight-day bicycle ride across New York between Buffalo and Albany.
The Mohawk Valley Gateway Pedestrian Bridge, which spans the Mohawk River, is expected to open around Labor Day. This project will connect Amsterdam’s south side with its downtown. The Erie Canalway Trail is less than one-quarter mile from the bridge, which is a $16.5 million project that was started in 2014.
Last December, the villages of Fonda and Fultonville each received grants through the Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) process to further canal projects that will benefit the local community.
The Erie Canalway Trail runs 360 miles through 14 counties between Albany and Buffalo. The Erie Canalway Trail is estimated to have 1.6 million annual visits, according to a study released by the state Office of Parks & Trails in 2014. In Montgomery County, unlike in some other areas, the trail is used all year round and its benefits can be felt by the local business community.
Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort addresses the media and the crowd at an announcement at Yankee Hill Lock on Wednesday, July 20. The county announced that grants have been secured to pave its entire portion of the Erie Canalway Trail. State Senator George A. Amedore, Jr. (second from left) also announced he has secured a capital grant to assist in the project. Also pictured, from left to right, are Fulton-Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce President Mark Kilmer, Amedore, Ossenfort, Senior Planner Amanda Bearcroft and Public Works Commissioner Paul Clayburn.