Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus has forwarded to the County Legislature a resolution to authorize the agreement necessary to begin design of the Dutchess Rail Trail. “With the adoption of this agreement, we can officially begin designing the Dutchess Rail Trail,” stated County Executive Steinhaus. “ While we have been hard at work to make the Dutchess Rail Trail a reality for sometime, this will mark the formal start of this exciting project to provide a multiple use trail for our residents through the heart of the County, from Morgan Lake in the City of Poughkeepsie to the former Hopewell Junction Depot in the Town of East Fishkill.”
The rail trail will follow the path of the Central Dutchess Utility Corridor waterline, which is currently being constructed by the Dutchess County Water and Wastewater Authority.
This $4.8 million dollar project involves the conversion of almost 12 miles of the abandoned Maybrook Rail Line of the Penn Central Railroad to a paved bikeway with appropriate access in the Towns of Poughkeepsie, LaGrange, Wappinger and East Fishkill. Existing structures carrying the proposed Rail Trail will be rehabilitated as necessary to safely carry bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Construction of the trail is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2006, when the waterline is expected to be complete. The County fully expects to open the trail in segments while it is being built. The estimated time frame for completion is the spring of 2007.
“Given the success of the County’s Harlem Valley Rail Trail, the expectations and potential for the Dutchess Rail Trail with its proximity to the core of our population centers are limitless.” said Steinhaus. “I am thrilled the project is set to begin and will soon add a huge new piece to the county’s growing recreational trail system and our wide range of tourist attractions.”
The resolution will be before the County Legislature in August.