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News Release

May 26, 2011      

For Further Information Contact:
William R. Steinhaus, County Executive
(845) 486-2000

Steinhaus Opens Phase III of the Dutchess Rail Trail

Dutchess Rail Trail Parking Locations

Poughkeepsie... More than a hundred people gathered this morning at the Titusville Road rail trail bridge in LaGrange to join Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus to “officially” open Phase III of the Dutchess Rail Trail.    Phase III is a 6.5 mile section of the Dutchess Rail Trail from Old Manchester Road in LaGrange, through the Town of Wappinger and connecting to East Fishkill.   With LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill now linked, Dutchess Rail Trail users can enjoy an 8+ mile continuous trail near Route 55 connecting all the way to the original Hopewell Junction Depot at Route 82.

Rail Trail Ribbon Cutting Ceremony“We are thrilled to officially open this great new section of     the Dutchess Rail Trail for all to enjoy just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said County Executive Steinhaus.   “Thanks to the hard work and dedication of our county employees and private contractor partners, we were able to overcome the challenges of difficult weather over the last several months to get people out on the trail for  fun, recreation and fitness.”

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 including the towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.   

Construction of Phase III included three bridge installations and significant construction including repair of large culverts.   Bridges were installed over the following roadways to connect Phase III:

- Over Titusville Road in the Town of LaGrange.
- Over Maloney Road in the Town of Wappinger.
- Over NYS Route 376 in the Town of East Fishkill.

County Executive Steinhaus encouraged all trail users to enjoy many of the amenities added all along the Dutchess Rail Trail such as educational signage, mileage markers and benches.  

There are fifteen 2’x3’ educational signs currently along the Dutchess Rail Trail with information about the water crossings along the trail, historical information about each of the towns the trail passes through, the Central Dutchess Water Transmission Line that runs beneath the Dutchess Rail Trail, the wildlife and ecology commonly found along the trail, as well as significant information about the original railroad line including bridge crossings, types of train traffic and train stations along the Maybrook Rail Line.

Mileage markers and directional signage have also been installed along the Dutchess Rail Trail.  The mileage markers reflect the trail’s history as the Maybrook Rail Line and are marked with HJ and a mile number, which would indicate how far a train was from the Hopewell Junction (HJ) Depot.   Directional signage along the trail indicates how far the next road crossing is.

Numerous benches have been donated and installed along the Dutchess Rail Trail by individuals and organizations who wanted to contribute to the Dutchess Rail Trail and/or remember loved ones.   The Dutchess Rail Trail Advisory Council is currently working to continue to add more amenities throughout the trail.   Individuals and organizations can check out the Dutchess County Rail Trails webpage at www.dutchesscountytrails.com and click on the “Support the Dutchess Rail Trail” tab.

This summer, the Veterans Memorial Mile of the Dutchess Rail Trail will be dedicated in the Town of Wappinger to recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices of the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces.

Some final work is still being completed along Phase III of the Dutchess Rail Trail and trail users may see some contractors working along the trail.   Trail users are asked to be courteous of workers and keep out of immediate work areas.

Due to the complex engineering and environmental challenges of the Dutchess Rail Trail, the project is being constructed in phases.  Phase I of the Dutchess Rail Trail opened in 2007 with a 1.7 mile section in East Fishkill between Route 376 and Lake Walton Road.      Phase II is the 2.4 mile section from Morgan Lake on the City/Town of Poughkeepsie border to Overocker Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie which opened in 2009.    Phase III adds 6.5 more miles of trail and connects LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill.

Dutchess Rail Trail BridgePhase IV features the most complex construction aspect of the DRT– the construction of a new 750ft, 4 span bridge that will extend over NYS Route 55’s six lanes of traffic, and the Wappinger Creek.  Phase IV will provide the final Dutchess Rail Trail connection from Poughkeepsie, through LaGrange and Wappinger, to East Fishkill for 12 miles of uninterrupted miles of trail.  Design work on Phase IV is nearly complete and construction is expected to begin in 2012. 

A photo gallery of today’s Phase III opening celebration can be viewed here:
http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/CountyGov/Departments/DPW-Parks/19850.htm.
For more information on the Dutchess Rail Trail, visit www.dutchesscountytrails.com or the county website at www.dutchessny.gov.

“The Dutchess Rail Trail is a great quality of life amenity for all of us to enjoy, whether you are a serious biker or just want to take a peaceful stroll with your family on a lovely spring evening.   Seeing all of the happy faces out on the Dutchess Rail Trail has certainly been one of my most rewarding experiences as County Executive  and I look forward to seeing many more smiles out on the Dutchess Rail Trail with this great new addition,” concluded County Executive Steinhaus.

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County Executive

County Executive