3.6-Mile Shared Use Path Is One of the Longest of its Kind in the Nation
Bridge Will Be Lit Blue This Evening in Honor of Governor Mario M. Cuomo
Hudson Link to Offer Free Bus Shuttles This Week and Weekends Through the Summer
Path Features Public Art, Food Vendors and Free Audio Tours
Photos of the New Path are Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the 3.6-mile shared bicycle and pedestrian path on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, providing an environmentally friendly new connection for families, runners, cyclists, walkers and commuters to travel between Westchester and Rockland counties. The path opened to the public at 2 p.m. today with safety protocols in place to limit the potential spread of COVID-19.
Governor Cuomo also announced the bridge will be lit blue this evening in honor of the late Governor Mario M. Cuomo's birthday.
"The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is an iconic gateway to the Hudson Valley and a statewide landmark that celebrates the spirit of New York," Governor Cuomo said. "The addition of this state-of-the-art bike and pedestrian path will provide New Yorkers and tourists alike with more ways to cross the river, as well as updated amenities and a unique, interactive experience to enjoy while taking in the scenic views of the Hudson River Valley."
With its signature blue overlay, the 12-foot wide shared use path extends from its Westchester Landing in the Village of Tarrytown, across one of the widest points of the Hudson River, to its Rockland Landing in the Village of South Nyack. Located on the northern side of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge's westbound span, the path features six scenic overlooks, digital kiosks, interpretive signage and public art. Visitor parking, restrooms, bicycle repair stations and other amenities, along with connectivity to local bicycle and pedestrian networks, are available at both landings.
The shared use path will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The path may temporarily close due to inclement weather, maintenance operations or security concerns. Updates and path information will be available at the bridge's new website, mariomcuomobridge.ny.gov, and on its new Twitter account, @GMMCB, both launching today.
The shared use path was part of the Thruway Authority's $3.9 billion project to build the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which replaced the Tappan Zee Bridge in 2017. The cable-stayed crossing has been built to serve the Hudson Valley without major maintenance for at least a century. Approximately 50 million vehicles cross the bridge annually.
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, "This is a truly historic day for the New York State Thruway Authority. The new shared bicycle/pedestrian path is part of our on-going commitment to modernize and transform the state's transportation infrastructure while strengthening connections in the communities we serve. Offering the option to walk or cycle across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge helps reduce our impact on the environment, just as the implementation of cashless tolling on the Thruway system-wide will by the end of this year."
Project Director Jamey Barbas said, "The opening of the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge bicycle and pedestrian path is the culmination of a transformative public infrastructure project, one of the largest in the United States. Under the leadership of Governor Cuomo, the hundreds of laborers and engineers who have worked on this project have been committed from the start to providing transportation improvements, from wider lanes and emergency shoulders to dedicated space for buses and now a 3.6-mile shared use path. The path is not only functional, it is beautiful, and we thank all our community partners who made this bridge a reality."
Hudson Link, the enhanced bus service sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation serving the Interstate 87/287 corridor, will provide free shuttle service from large commuter parking lots in Rockland and Westchester to stop near the path's landings in Tarrytown and South Nyack, starting today and running through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Friday, the Hudson Link path shuttle will begin its regular weekend summer schedule, operating from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There is a four-hour time limit in the parking lots at the path, and visitors are strongly encouraged to take shuttles and other mass transit to the path. The state-of-the-art path shuttles will leave every 20 minutes from Palisades Center. A map, schedule and details are available on Hudson Link's website.
As part of its COVID-19 response, Hudson Link has taken the following precautions:
- Maximum occupancy per bus is 25 customers.
- All passengers are required to wear face masks.
- All passengers are asked to sit six feet away from each other while on the bus.
- Hand sanitizing units are installed on all Hudson Link buses.
- All operators wear face masks, gloves and use hand sanitizer.
- CDC approved industrial sanitizers are used nightly to clean each bus.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York State is creating a 21st Century transportation system that is resilient, promotes growth and improves mobility for not only motor vehicles but pedestrians and cyclists as well. As part of that larger vision, the New York State Department of Transportation is proud to sponsor Hudson Link's enhanced bus service providing access to this new shared-use path which has breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley and is a shining example of what New Yorkers can achieve when we all work together."
The ensure the safety of all using the new shared use path, visitors should keep six feet apart from others. When social distancing cannot be maintained, visitors are asked to wear a face covering on the path and in the restrooms. Physical and digital signs have been posted to remind visitors of their shared responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York State Police Troop T is the law enforcement entity responsible for patrolling the path while a dedicated security team will actively monitor it and the entire bridge 24 hours/day, 365 days/year.
The path features designated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists traveling in both directions to ensure safety. There is a 15-mph speed limit for all cyclists. Per a new state law, Class 1 and Class 2 bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) may be used on the path by those 16 years of age and older. All cyclists must yield to pedestrians.
When visiting the path, keep the following in mind:
- It takes approximately 80 minutes to walk the length of the path; factor in your return trip.
- It takes approximately 20 minutes to bike across the path.
- Wind, rain, sun, temperatures all feel more intense out over the water; dress accordingly.
- Restrooms are in the Welcome Centers at both landings.
- Water fountains are available at both landings, not on the path itself.
- You may feel the bridge vibrate; this is normal.
- If you need assistance, use the blue light phones along the path.
One of the path's unique amenities is the vast array of public art on display on or near both of its landings.
Visitors will encounter five unique sculptures, a 4,000-square-foot mural in Rockland and a custom-designed bike rack referencing the Palisades and New York City skyline. Three of the sculptures incorporate remnant steel salvaged from the decommissioned Tappan Zee Bridge. Three more bicycle racks alluding to the historic importance of the Hudson River as a commercial transportation artery will be installed later this month.
The Thruway Authority partnered with ArtsWestchester and the Arts Council of Rockland on the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge Public Art Program. The 10 commissions were awarded to eight New York State artists.
Details about each art commission is available on the bridge website.
ArtsWestchester CEO Janet T. Langsam said, "A spectacular group of monumental works of art have been installed at each terminus of the new bridge, transforming this twin crossing into a compelling destination for travelers to engage with the arts. We at ArtsWestchester were thrilled to collaborate with the New York State Thruway Authority on this landmark creative placemaking project. With the expansion of COVID19 outdoor recreation guidelines, the new bridge over the mighty Hudson is a visionary place for people to enjoy public art on their way to and from the Hudson Valley. The artwork is free, its public, and available to all New Yorkers. "
As part of a Thruway Authority pilot program, local merchants will offer food and services at both landings.
Three food trucks - Anthi's Greek Specialties, Westchester Burger Company and Graziella's Italian Kitchen - will serve both the Westchester and Rockland landings on a rotating basis, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
At the Westchester Landing, Double Barrel Roasters will be on site serving hot and cold coffee, specialty drinks and scooped ices daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Blue Pig, which sells locally sourced ice cream, will operate from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday to Sunday, while Sleek E-Bikes will offer electric bike rentals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer.
At the Rockland Landing, Teagevity will offer organic tea and cold-brewed coffee from 9 a.m. to dusk, Thursdays to Sundays.
Governor Cuomo also announced free audio tours specially designed for walkers and cyclists will be available for download today. The mobile tours will include stories that cover a wide range of topics from information about bridge construction to local history, from the Hudson Valley's connection to art to the Hudson River and its surroundings. Travelers will be able to safely access the stories hands-free on their mobile devices while walking or cycling the pat
The New York State Thruway Authority partnered with Historic Hudson River Towns (HHRT), a non-profit consortium of riverfront municipalities, and TravelStorys to develop the audio tours. The New NY Bridge Community Benefits Program awarded Historic Hudson River Towns a grant for the project. In addition to the path tours, HHRT on June 24 will launch a new driving tour includes featuring its 16 member communities in Westchester and Rockland, as well as on both the new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge and the Bear Mountain Bridge. Other upcoming HHRT tours on the TravelStorys app include walking tours of Irvington, Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Nyack, and artist Edward Hopper's Nyack. Download the TravelStorys app for free to listen to the self-guided path tours.
HHRT Chairman Phil Zegarelli, Village Manager of Briarcliff Manor said, "Historic Hudson River Towns has had two great partners in the development of all the mobile audio tours we are launching this summer. TravelStorysGPS has provided the techical know-how and vision to make it all possible. The New York State Thruway Authority has provided funding and guidance, working especially hard on the walking and biking tours across the bridge. We know the path tours will be a major attraction, drawing residents and visitors out to enjoy the beauty of the bridge while they hear about the history and wonders of the river we all love so much."
ABOUT THE NEW SHARED USE PATH
- Daily hours of operation: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
- Length of new shared use path: 3.6 miles
- Width of path: 12 feet
- Number of overlooks: 6
- Bicycle speed limit: 15 mph
- Approximate walk time from end to end: 80 minutes
- Approximate bike time from end to end: 20 minutes
- Parking spots at Westchester Landing: 30 Monday to Friday/130 weekdays after 4 p.m. and all weekend
- Parking spots at Rockland Landing: 57