Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus received an update this morning on the preliminary design of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the proposed 11.8 mile multi-use linear park that will run through the middle of the County including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.
Clough, Harbour and Associates (CHA), the firm retained by the County to provide engineering design services for the project, and representatives from the County Department of Public Works provided elements of the preliminary design including alternatives and options for trail surface treatments, access points, parking facilities, amenities, and roadway crossings. The results of comments received by the community at the four February informational meetings were also presented.
According to County Executive Steinhaus, “Based on the strong community participation of local residents and rail trail enthusiasts alike at the four informational meetings held this past February, our engineering consultants were provided with valuable local input. They have taken that input and created a number of alternatives for us to consider in creating the final design. I am pleased with the progress made and especially the inclusion of the community’s input.”
Clough, Harbour and Associates presented various options and some preferred design suggestions for the various roadway crossings of the rail trail, which include the construction of bridges over Titusville Road and the northerly crossing of Route 376 in Fishkill Plains. The construction of grade-separated crossings at other locations is also being studied. Several options were presented regarding the most challenging crossing at NYS Route 55.
Based on CHA’s evaluation of the nearly two dozen drainage culverts and bridges located under the rail trail, extensive repairs will be required at many structures.
Commissioner of Public Works Michael Murphy and the County Department of Public Works design team expect to present the various design alternatives studied to the community this fall.
County Executive Steinhaus concluded, “This is an evolving process and we will have many more meetings before the project is completed. I am confident the end product will be well received by county residents and the new rail trail park will become an enormously popular destination for Dutchess County families.”
Construction is planned for 2007.