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January 17, 2014

City of Plattsburgh, Saranac Lake win walkway money

PLATTSBURGH — Two North Country communities will receive some much-anticipated good news in the form of state money for pedestrian and bicycle paths.

The City of Plattsburgh has won $1.6 million for improvements to the Saranac River Trail, and the Village of Saranac Lake will get $761,600 for upgrades to sidewalks along Route 86.

“We are thrilled to receive funds for this important project and grateful to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation for making this project possible,” City of Plattsburgh Mayor James Calnon said in a news release.

RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES

The funding is part of $67 million for 63 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use paths across the state. The money comes from the DOT and is designed to make improvements that will encourage tourism and enhance economic development opportunities.

“We are modernizing New York state’s transportation system while making it safer,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release.

“From building new facilities for bicycles and pedestrians to supporting historic highway programs, these projects will provide new tourism and recreation opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors.”

The Saranac River Trail is a 1.3 mile trail that stretches from Pine Street near the Plattsburgh Police Station, west along the banks of the river to an area on the edge of the property of SUNY Plattsburgh near Plattsburgh High School.

It opened in 2011 and features a paved path wide enough to accommodate bikers as well as walkers and joggers. Eventually, it will wind further west into the towns of Plattsburgh, Schuyler Falls and Saranac.

SAFER SCHOOL ACCESS

The state funding received this week is money the city applied for to connect the trail from Pine Street to Durkee Street and the downtown core via a rehabilitated Saranac Street Bridge and a new pedestrian bridge to Durkee Street.

The funding will also provide for a connection to Stafford Middle School by extending the trail along the river behind the City Police Station and across Pine Street to the school, allowing for safer access for students who walk or ride bikes to school.

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