$7 Million Trail Improvements Completed as a Part of Governor Cuomo's $56.7 Million NY Gateway Connections Improvement Project
Encourages New Yorkers to Visit 2,000-Mile Trail System and Tourist Attractions across the State
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the renovated Shoreline Trail along the Niagara River, between LaSalle Park and the Peace Bridge, in Buffalo. The newly renovated and realigned trail provides an additional 700 feet of pathway along the Niagara River and connects the Shoreline Trail Bridge to an elevated overlook at the west end of the structure. The overlook features expansive views of the confluence of Lake Erie and the Niagara River, and closer views of the Peace Bridge. A new 400-foot waterside viewing platform was also constructed at the water’s edge.
"This $7 million renovation showcase’s Buffalo’s position as a top-notch tourist destination, helping to further spur the economy across Western New York," Governor Cuomo said. "This trail provides another connection to Buffalo’s scenic waterfront and gives residents and visitors another reason to get out and enjoy all the Queen City has to offer."
The trail improvements are part of Governor Cuomo’s $56.7 million New York Gateway Connections Improvement project in Buffalo, which complements the state's record $21.1 billion investment in New York State’s roads and bridges.
The new trail incorporates a number of features designed to enhance a user’s experience. It includes two four-foot wide striped bicycle lanes and an additional five-foot walking/running lane. As the trail approaches the Niagara River, a separate, scenic trail winds down towards the water’s edge, giving users a closer view of the Black Rock Channel.
"The opening of the Shoreline Trail along the Niagara River will provide a place to take in the natural beauty of New York’s Queen City," Lieutenant Governor Hochul said. "This is a great way to welcome people as they travel over the Peace Bridge from Canada into the United States. The Shoreline Trail and the additional improvements being made to the Peace Bridge are sure to enhance tourism in an area that is already blessed with one of the world’s greatest natural attractions."
"The State Department of Transportation worked diligently with local leaders to incorporate many unique, context-sensitive design features along this portion of the Shoreline Trail," State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said. "The re-design was done with an emphasis on quality, and allows all users to reconnect to the City’s waterfront."
The project also has many unique structural design features, including an attractive stamped concrete finish on highway bridge piers and retaining walls along the Trail. The pedestrian bridge over Interstate 190 and the CSX railroad includes structural arch features designed to mimic the arches of the Peace Bridge in the background. The new trail bridge also has a separate canopied overlook to view the Niagara River, Lake Erie and the Canadian shoreline. Additionally, the lighting features and safety markers along the Trail were chosen to extend the ironwork located in nearby Olmsted-designed Front Park.
In November, Governor Cuomo announced a major milestone in the New York Gateway Connections Improvement Project, with the opening of a new ramp from Peace Bridge Plaza to northbound Interstate 190. The ramp provides a direct connection to the interstate for international traffic and complements previous accomplishments of the Gateway Connections Improvement project, including the replacement of the Porter Avenue Bridge and a new roundabout. The State Department of Transportation partnered with the State Thruway Authority on this project to replace the Porter Avenue Bridge over Interstate 190 and the CSXT railway with a new structure that was built with increased vertical clearance over the railroad.
Additionally, in September 2016, a ramp opened to carry traffic from Porter Avenue directly into the Peace Bridge Plaza on an alignment located outside of and adjacent to Front Park. The new ramp alignment allowed for the closure and removal of Baird Drive from the historic Frederick Law Olmsted-designed Front Park, thereby restoring four acres of park land and renewing the vision of Front Park.
The overall project will ease congestion and reduce delays for travelers, while making the area safer and more efficient for both motorists and commercial traffic, helping to facilitate international tourism and commerce.
New York State feature more than 2,000 miles of trails, from challenging mountain climbs to gentle bicycle paths. The State Park trail improvements reflect Governor Cuomo’s commitment to improve parks outdoor recreation and expand opportunities for hiking and cycling. Governor Cuomo is creating the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. The state has committed $200 million in the 2017-18 budget to develop 350 miles of new trail to create a statewide pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities. For more information on trails in State Parks, visit www.nysparks.com/recreation/trails.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "With the opening of the renovated Shoreline Trail, we’re offering Western New Yorkers yet another opportunity to explore their city to the fullest. As summer approaches, folks will now be able to enjoy scenic views and landscapes, paired with a connectivity that truly enriches our community. I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation for seeing this redevelopment into reality, along with many other initiatives included in the Gateway Connections Improvement project."
Senator Chris Jacobs said, "The Shoreline Trail between LaSalle Park and the Peace Bridge offers some of the more beautiful views from our expansive waterfront. The recently completed renovations enhance the ability of residents and visitors to enjoy a wide range of new features that cater to people of all ages. This investment will reap great benefits for many years to come."
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, "The Gateway Connections project is helping to transform the area near the Peace Bridge, and this latest project is another victory for progress. Connecting residents and visitors with access to the water is the smart thing to do for the New Buffalo. I am thrilled that the new trail will expand access for pedestrians and bicyclists on Buffalo's West Side."
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said, "Having used the Shoreline Trail in the past from Niagara Street to downtown Buffalo, I am looking forward to taking advantage of the renovated trail. I know New York State’s investment in the trail will be appreciated by all who use it, especially the residents of Erie County."
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown said, "The Shoreline Trail is another vehicle to connect our City and our residents to the waterfront. It not only creates enhanced views of the Niagara River, it builds on the $7 million in upgrades my administration has made to LaSalle Park, while highlighting a portion of the 110 miles of bike lanes in the City of Buffalo."
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