Poughkeepsie… If delivery schedules hold true and the weather cooperates, rail trail lovers could soon have a new trail connection to explore as construction continues along Dutchess County’s urban trail project, which has been officially dubbed the “Northside Line.” Early this month, Department of Public Works Engineering Division staff led several Dutchess County Legislators on a tour of the first section of trail, which, once complete, will be a 22-foot-wide dual-lane pathway for pedestrians and cyclists stretching .55 miles from West Cedar Street in the Town of Poughkeepsie to Parker Avenue (State Route 9G) in the City of Poughkeepsie. If lighting equipment arrives in a timely fashion and can be installed without weather interruptions, this first section of the trail is hoped to be available for use by the end of the year.
Early this month, Department of Public Works Engineering Division staff led several Dutchess County Legislators on a tour of the first section of the Northside Line urban trail network under construction in the City and Town of Poughkeepsie.
The Northside Line is being built on former CSX rail property that was purchased by Scenic Hudson in 2019 and transferred to Dutchess County to develop an urban trail system. The project is being built in phases and once complete, the Northside Line trail network will span 2.7 miles, connecting many community assets within the city and town of Poughkeepsie, providing easy access between housing, jobs, schools, businesses, hospitals, and parks, including the Walkway Over the Hudson, Quiet Cove Riverfront Park, Pulaski Park, and the Poughkeepsie Waterfront.
Work began on the first section of trail in June and crews tackled the challenge of clearing the former CSX rail corridor of trees, brush and significant debris that had accumulated over several decades. Trail grading, light pole foundations, drainage features, and underground conduit for lights and security features have all been installed. Placement of subbase and installation of pavement are slated in the coming weeks. The trail, however, will not be open for public use until light poles are installed and are fully operational. Lighting is one of the key security features for the 24/7 trail and was the most prioritized feature identified during public outreach sessions held throughout 2021. Light poles will be installed as they are delivered, which is expected to begin in the coming weeks, but delivery schedules are subject to change depending on supply chain availability.
In addition to lighting and other security features, the Northside Line will feature secure bike parking, bench seating as well as other amenities. The trail will be maintained for year-round transportation use, including plowing in the winter season. The remainder of Phase I construction, the 1.4-mile section from the Hudson Heritage development site in the Town of Poughkeepsie – including easy connection to Quiet Cove Riverfront Park – to Parker Avenue, is anticipated to be complete by the summer of 2023, with the full project expected to be complete by the end of 2024.
Construction continues along Dutchess County’s urban trail project, which has been officially dubbed the “Northside Line.”
County Executive Molinaro said, “We are very excited to see the Northside Line become a reality. This new urban trail will be a unique addition to our trail network as a year-round, 24-hour transportation corridor that will safely connect residents and visitors with tourism attractions, local businesses, and neighborhoods and we are hopeful to have the first section open for the public to enjoy by the end of the year.”
The Northside Line trail network is one of several key investments included in County Executive Molinaro’s 2023 Executive Budget proposal to enhance recreational opportunities and quality of life through the County’s park system. Other improvements expected to be ready for public use in 2023 include a new splash pad water feature at Wilcox Memorial Park in Milan and a new, accessible playground at Bowdoin Park in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
The Northside Line is being built on former CSX rail property that was purchased by Scenic Hudson in 2019, top image, and transferred to Dutchess County. The project is being built in phases, bottom image, and once complete will span 2.7 miles.
County Executive Molinaro will present his 2023 Executive Budget Address on Tuesday, November 1st at 11 a.m. in the Dutchess County Legislature Chambers located in the County Office Building at 22 Market Street, Poughkeepsie. This presentation can be viewed online at dutchessny.gov. County Executive Molinaro will also host a series of town hall forums for residents to learn more about budget plans and share questions and feedback:
To learn more about the Urban Trail project, visit www.dutchesscountyurbantrail.com.