Tarrytown Board of Directors Agrees to Lead Efforts to Fund RiverWalk Extension Under Cuomo Bridge
July 21, 2021
By Barrett Seamanâ
Ned Sullivan, executive director of influential environmental group Scenic Hudson, made a special trip to Tarrytown on Monday evening. He and two colleagues from Scenic Hudson were there to encourage village administrators to pass legislation making Tarrytown the lead applicant for a $ 868,750 grant that will fund an environmental review and preliminary design of a stretch of RiverWalk from where it currently ends at parking lot G near the south end of Green Street and Losee Park.
Currently there is a nine tenth of a mile gap from Green Street at the bottom of Van Wart Street, where RiverWalk resumes, passing under the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, to the Lyndhurst Estate and Irvington. The section, which will require passage along the river from the Metro North lanes, is one of many unfinished elements of a 51-mile pedestrian and bicycle path that runs from Peekskill north to Yonkers.
The authorization council’s vote was unanimous. It included specific language indicating that there would be no cost to the village beyond administrative support. The request goes to the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. Scenic Hudson had previously secured $ 500,000 in grants from the New York State Bridge Community Benefit Fund and contributed $ 100,000 on its own to basic feasibility and design.
This time around, Scenic Hudson is adding $ 217,187, which is a quarter of the cost of the next phase. Some of that money, Sullivan noted, came from a grant from the Thursday Club, which has been raising funds for civic causes in riverside towns since 1921. The rest will come from the CFA, or the Consolidated Funding Request, in assuming it is approved.
If so, as planned, it is estimated that this environmental study and design phase will be completed within two years, placing the project in âconstruction readyâ status, although there is a third phase. , estimated at around $ 3 million spent on engineering readiness. specifications, which would come out for the call for tenders. Then comes the construction. One optimistic estimate is that the project will be completed by the end of 2025 at a cost of between $ 25 million and $ 30 million. While private donors and foundations will cover some of this, it is assumed that state and federal governments will cover most of the construction costs.
Although less than a mile long, the connection will be difficult. Engineers will need to design and construct a trail built atop the Hudson’s shore, with appropriate barriers on the trail side and substantial storm surge protections on the river side. Residents of the over the cliff homes in Tappan Landing as well as in The Quay condominium complex just north of the bridge will have to endure noise during the construction phase.
At some point yet to be determined, the path must return to the tracks so that it can connect to the shared use path of the Cuomo Bridge and ultimately to the existing RiverWalk to the south. Currently, three options are being considered:
* Use an existing signal bridge just under the north span (westbound) of the bridge. This would provide the shortest link to the shared usage path;
* Attach to the current place at the base of Van Wart. This would require fewer stairs and other access measures for people with disabilities;
* Make the crossing even further south, near the ravine on the Montefiore campus, using more gradual inclines to the RiverWalk.
In the public comments section of the hearing, resident Katie Kreider of South Washington Street asked for assurances that the transition node, wherever it is located, is accessible to people with disabilities. These assurances have been given.
The âbig pictureâ that Ned Sullivan and his colleagues sought to convey to the Tarrytown board of directors and the public was one in which Riverwalk is part of a âmultimodal transportation systemâ that connects pedestrians and cyclists to the Metro North railway line. , Bee-line and Hudson Transit bus services, all united in Tarrytown.
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