Poughkeepsie… “Today our vision for another great Dutchess County trail becomes a reality,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus as he wielded a golden shovel and dug into the ground to officially begin construction on the eagerly awaited Dutchess Rail Trail during a groundbreaking ceremony at the Lake Walton Road access point in the town of East Fishkill.
“Our Dutchess Rail Trail is a true community park where our county residents can come together to exercise, to socialize, and just enjoy the spectacular beauty of Dutchess County,” said County Executive Steinhaus. “We expect to have this first portion of the trail open for residents to walk off their Thanksgiving Dinner.”
The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 12 mile multi-use linear county park, the centerpiece of the County Executive Steinhaus’ Comprehensive Parks Plan. This highly anticipated new county park will run through the middle of the County along the former Maybrook Rail corridor and including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.
Today’s groundbreaking signals the start of the trail’s first phase, which will run from NYS Route 376 in Hopewell Junction to Lake Walton Road. Due to the complex engineering and environmental challenges of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the project will be constructed in five separate segments, with much of the construction occurring simultaneously.
Construction for the remaining four sections, which include significant bridge construction and repair of large culverts, is scheduled into next year. The later phases include:
- Construction of a new bridge over Titusville Road in the Town of Lagrange.
- Construction of a new bridge over NYS Route 376 in the Town of East Fishkill.
- Construction of a new bridge that will span NYS Route 55 and the Wappinger Creek.
- Construction of a replacement structure over Maloney Road in the Town of Wappinger.
- Replacement of the existing bridge over the Salt Point Turnpike, NYS Route 115 in the Town of Poughkeepsie by St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Construction cost for the entire project is estimated at just under $12 million. The NYS Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) will fund the entire cost of the bridge over State Route 55, estimated at approximately $3.1M. The remainder of the project cost is eligible for 80 percent reimbursement from the federal government, therefore minimizing the net cost to the county budget.
County Executive Steinhaus said, “The NYS DOT has been an extraordinary partner for this project. They have been so proactive and so helpful meeting our deadlines and timelines. We are so grateful for their partnership and collaboration in making the Dutchess Rail Trail a reality.”
Joan Dupont, Regional Director for the NYS DOT said, “I commend Dutchess County for having such a remarkable vision for open space, for trails, and for families. We are proud to be a partner with them as they make their vision for the Dutchess Rail Trail a reality.”
“We are thrilled to celebrate this special milestone today. The community has truly embraced our Dutchess Rail Trail project and their enthusiasm and excitement to see it begin has been contagious. County residents have been so important to the Rail Trail’s design and development, offering feedback and ideas to make it a true community park. We look forward to seeing everyone out on the trail in the coming weeks!” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
For the most up-to-date news on the Dutchess Rail Trail, log on to the county’s rail trail website.