News Release


For More Information:

William R. Steinhaus
Dutchess County Executive
Telephone:  (845) 486-2000
, FAX: (845) 486-2021,

September 17, 2001


Rail Trail Extension Funded:   County Executive Approves Funding to Continue Development of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail

Dutchess County Executive William R. Steinhaus today announced funding for phase III of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, extending the trail 2.6 miles from Mechanic Street in the Hamlet of Amenia south to the Metro North Wassaic Train Station.  Steinhaus recently signed legislation authorizing the issuance of $ 4,397,200 in serial bonds for the 2001-2002 County Road and Bridge Program.  Included in that bonding legislation is $950,000 to extend the existing eight-mile portion of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail to over 10.6 miles.  The County Executive said, “The southern extension will provide a vital link between this regional recreational resource and the Metropolitan area, through the Harlem Valley line of the Metro-North train system.”  He added, “ $677,560 from two Federal Transportation Grants and a $98,000 contribution from Metro-North will cover more than 80% of the total development costs of this project.”    The county is required to appropriate and expend the funds for design and construction receiving federal reimbursement at the completion of the project.

The County is currently working with the NYSDOT to receive the necessary approvals to design and bid the project by this November.  It is our goal to start construction in the spring of 2002.  The project will be designed, bid and constructed under the supervision of the Dutchess County Department of Public Works.  The County Executive added, “this project is testimony to what can be accomplished when many levels of government, active citizens, and the community at large work together for a common goal.”

Since the trail arrived in Millerton, in June of 2000, the HVRT has already experienced a dramatic increase in usage.    Steinhaus noted, “In addition to the enjoyment of local residents, the rail trail has truly become a recreational resource of regional importance, and an economic resource on which the surrounding communities can build.  This project which links the trail to the train system will significantly increase the HVRT’s ability to draw users from a greater area and provide a significant opportunity to introduce visitors to the natural beauty of the Harlem Valley.  The significance of this link and the trail’s ability to produce economic spin-offs for the surrounding communities cannot be underestimated.”  


2001 Press Releases