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April 22, 2016

Date: April 22, 2016
Contact: Dennis Gaffney 
518-434-5076 (wk) 518-281-7252 (cell)

For Immediate Release

ALBANY, NY – Today, Earth Day, Albany Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan, other elected and government leaders, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates celebrated major improvements to the bike and pedestrian infrastructure that have begun at the Corning Riverfront Park on the Hudson River. 

The project will make the Corning Riverfront Park more accessible from Downtown, the Warehouse District, Arbor Hill, and the South End through improved road crossings and will widen and extend bicycle and walking paths on the waterfront park as well. 

“The Hudson River and its Riverfront Park are Albany treasures,” said Mayor Kathy M. Sheehan. “This project will make the park easier for residents to access and will dramatically expand and improve the network of paths for cyclists and pedestrians. We thank Governor Cuomo and New York State’s Department of Transportation and the Department of State for the funding that was essential to turn what was a dream project into a real project now underway.”

The construction is made possible by $4 million from the New York State DOT’s Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP), a federal reimbursement program that provides support for projects with “cultural, aesthetic, historic and environmental significance,” and a $1 million bond through the City of Albany. Planning for the project was funded by the NY Department of State’s Local Waterfront Revitalization Program. The project began this spring and is expected to be completed this calendar year.

“Parks & Trails New York is very pleased to see these enhancements to the Corning Riverfront Park,” said Executive Director Robin Dropkin. “This park is not only a major recreational asset for residents; it is also one of the anchors of the 360-mile Erie Canalway Trail. Last year, over 150,000 people used the trail here, many of whom were visitors whose first impression of Albany was the Corning Riverfront Park. These enhancements and increased accessibility will make Albany shine!” 

The City of Albany has also recently hired a consultant to work with the public to find ways to connect these improved bike and pedestrian paths along the riverfront to the Albany County Helderberg-Hudson Rail Trail. The City is also going to be putting out Requests for Proposals in the next few weeks to look at what can be done to improve the two tidal ponds on the waterfront, such as improving the water depth and making them usable for non-motorized boating such as kayaks and canoes. 

The Project will include:
  • Repaving and widening some areas of the multi-use path along the riverfront to accommodate two-way cycling as well as a pedestrian path;
  • Extending the multi-use path south to the Quay St./Broadway intersection near the USS Slater and north to Erie Blvd.;
  • Building a new two-way bike path along the backside of the tidal ponds that provides a bypass around the amphitheater during events;
  • Making the riverfront more accessible with new crosswalk signals at three intersections on Quay St.: at Broadway, the Broadway Connector, and Water St.;
  • Traffic calming of  Quay Street, which runs adjacent to the Riverfront Park, to make it a “complete street.” Quay St. will go from two lanes to one to better accommodate cyclists and pedestrians as well as vehicles; nearly 50 parallel parking spots will be added on Quay St. to make it easier to visit the riverfront;
  • Enhancing lighting along the new multi-use paths and along Quay St.;
  • Providing benches, bike racks and trashcans along the paths as well as kiosks to promote Albany events and activities;
  • Adding trees to the park, so there will be more trees once it’s finished than when it began.