Thursday, May 3, 2007

Public invited to rail trail workshop

Public invited to rail trail workshop

Rail Trail in the Town of Ancram
Poughkeepsie – Dutchess County residents are invited to participate in a public workshop for the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Phase IV extension to be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at the Webutuck High School.

“This workshop is a chance for the county to provide the public with information about the Harlem Valley Rail Trail Phase IV extension we are planning, but more importantly to gather ideas from local residents and rail trail enthusiasts,” stated County Executive William Steinhaus. “Phase IV of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail will complete a key link in the Rail Trail between Millerton and Ancram. This area is rich in wildlife and wetland resources and we look forward to designing a trail that is sensitive to those assets while creating a terrific experience for trail users.”

HVRT Phase IV is part of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail and is located in northeastern Dutchess County and southeastern Columbia County and spans approximately eight miles. HVRT Phase IV originates at Main Street (Route 44) in the Village of Millerton, follows the former Harlem Valley Rail Line right-of-way in the Town of Northeast, and ends at Under Mountain Road in the Town of Ancram, Columbia County.

When complete, the entire continuous Harlem Valley Rail Trail will span 23 miles from the Wassaic Train Station in Amenia to the Taconic State Park entrance, Copake Falls in Columbia County. The work will include placement of a shared-use path within the former railroad right-of-way currently leased by Dutchess County from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.

Preliminary total project costs are estimated at approximately $3.5 million. The county will secure 80 percent federal funding for the trail extension to offset the cost to the county parks budget. Dutchess County will pay for the local share of work within the county. Columbia County and the NYSOPRHP have agreed to fund the local share of the Columbia County portion of the project.

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