Poughkeepsie… “As I travel throughout Dutchess County, more than any other topic that I get questions or comments about from residents, people always want to know when they will be able to take advantage of the next section of the Dutchess Rail Trail. I am happy to report that they can plan on having their families out on Phase II of the trail by this summer,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus.
The opening of Phase II of the Dutchess Rail Trail is just weeks away as paving began this morning on the 2.4 mile section stretching from Morgan Lake south to Overocker Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie. Paving is anticipated to take several weeks and the Phase II section of the trail should be open to residents by early summer.
The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 12 mile multi-use linear “park”, the centerpiece of County Executive Steinhaus’ Comprehensive Parks Plan. This 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.
Due to the complex engineering and environmental challenges of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the project is being constructed in five separate segments, with some of the construction occurring simultaneously.
Work on Phase II of the Dutchess Rail Trail began last fall and started up again in late March when the weather began to improve. Work has included tree clearing, rubbish and debris removal, upgrading of the existing storm drainage system, repair work on the old concrete arch railroad bridges, grading of the Morgan Lake and Overocker Road Trailheads and preparation of the trail foundation.
Construction for the remaining sections, which include significant bridge construction and repair of large culverts, are scheduled into 2010. The other 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 replacement structure over Maloney Road in the Town of Wappinger.
Construction of a new bridge that will span NYS Route 55 and the Wappinger Creek.
Phase I of the Dutchess Rail Trail, which is open for use in East Fishkill, extends between NYS Route 376 and Lake Walton Road. Phase I opened in late 2007 and quickly become a popular destination for residents and visitors looking to enjoy some outdoor recreation. It was even named “Best New Hiking Trail” by the readers of Hudson Valley Magazine for 2008. “It is great to get out on the Dutchess Rail Trail and see so many residents enjoying it…from moms walking with strollers to avid fitness enthusiasts who are out power walking, running or biking… the Dutchess Rail Trail offers something for everyone,” said County Executive Steinhaus.
To date, construction costs projected for the Dutchess Rail Trail project are currently estimated at $19 million. The project cost is eligible for 80 percent reimbursement from the federal government, therefore minimizing the net cost to the county budget. The NYS Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) will fund the entire cost of the bridge over State Route 55, estimated at approximately $6 to 7 million.
“So start planning for some family fun out on the Dutchess Rail Trail for this summer. Get the family outside and plan to spend time together with healthy activities such as walking, running, bicycling and enjoy our beautiful outdoors on the newest phase of our trail,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.
For more information on the Dutchess Rail Trail, visit www.dutchessny.gov
- View a MAP of Dutchess Rail Trail construction sections.