Poughkeepsie… “Work is progressing well on Phase II of the Dutchess Rail Trail and we remain on schedule. The trail is one of our top priorities in county government so it is gratifying to see the transformation since paving began a few weeks ago,” said Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus during a recent site visit to review the project’s progress.
The Dutchess Rail Trail is a 12 mile multi-use linear county “park” that 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. Phase II of the Dutchess Rail Trail stretches from Morgan Lake south to Overocker Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
Residents driving in and around the Poughkeepsie area have most likely noticed the construction being done on this newest section of the Dutchess Rail Trail. Motorists traveling on Van Wagner Road have been able to see the repair work to the old concrete arch bridge completed. Residents passing the trail crossing at North Grand Avenue may even think the county trail is ready to go as the concrete pads at the crosswalks having been completed and the base paving looks complete, although a top course of asphalt still needs to be laid.
At the Morgan Lake Trailhead, stamped concrete has been finished, the informational kiosk has been installed and the plantings have been completed. There are still some finishing touches to go for the landscaping and benches and bicycle racks still to be installed. At the Overocker Road end, the parking lot has been paved and awaits paint striping.
Over the next few weeks, the focus will be getting the top course of asphalt paved along the length of Phase II. Currently the base paving has been completed from Morgan Lake to the Route 44 overpass. The remainder of Phase II from Route 44 to Overocker Road required some additional repair and ditch clearing before base paving could be done. That small section will get base paving in the coming days and the entire length of Phase II will get the final top course of paving in the next few weeks, weather permitting.
Additionally, there is pavement striping to be completed at the trail’s “at grade” road crossings. Crews will also be installing warning signage at the trail’s crossings to alert both pedestrians and motorists to exercise caution.
Residents who are eager to get out on the trail for biking, walking, running and more are urged to visit Phase I of the Dutchess Rail Trail, which is open for use in East Fishkill, extending between Route 376 and Lake Walton Road. Phase I has quickly become a popular destination for residents and visitors looking to enjoy some outdoor recreation since it opened in late 2007.
“We have submitted special requests to Mother Nature to help keep us on schedule with accommodating weather,” quipped County Executive Steinhaus. “We are hopeful the rain that is currently in the forecast will not delay the work crews and we can have residents out enjoying Phase II of our county trail this summer.”
The County Executive noted, “We have a talented County team coordinating this project, including project leader Joseph Kelley from the County’s engineering division, along with Gregory Bentley, our Director of Engineering and Charles Traver, our Commissioner of Public Works. The three of them have invested thousand of hours on the trail and together with our local contractor, Sun Up Enterprises, we all look forward to the Dutchess Rail Trail’s Phase II opening.”
For more information on the Dutchess Rail Trail, visit https://www.dutchessny.gov/