ALBANY – A new, eight-mile segment of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail will go out to bid in 2013, closing a key gap in the statewide recreation trail in Niagara and Erie counties.
The new section of trail between Amherst and Lockport will connect to existing Erie Canalway Trail segments to create a continuous 100-mile of bike and hike path between Buffalo in Erie County and Newark in Wayne County. Bids are scheduled to be opened in July, 2013 with construction beginning in September, 2013. The new section of trail is scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
"Every year, the Erie Canal Corridor draws visitors from across the nation to take in some of the beautiful sites and enjoy the many recreational activities along the route," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "This expansion of the trail will be a big boost for communities along the Corridor in Western New York, and is a continuation the state's efforts through the NY Works program to bolster economic development by investing in existing regional strengths, such as the Erie Canalway Trail."
Lockport Mayor Michael Tucker said, "The Erie Canalway Trail will continue to be a premier tourist destination and we welcome the boost to our economy this project will bring. This new construction will create jobs and expand the benefits the trail brings locally."
Features of the new trail segment will include a new 10-foot wide asphalt trail between the Amherst Museum and Prospect Street in Lockport, a pedestrian bridge over Tonawanda Creek, trailhead parking and information signs. Directional signage will be provided to establish an on-street link several blocks from Prospect Street to Erie Canal Locks 34 and 35.
The 8-mile Erie Canalway Trail segment is part of the statewide Erie Canalway Trail linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie. More than three-quarters of the 365-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now completed.
The 14th annual Cycling the Erie Canal tour began earlier today in Buffalo. The 8-day, 400-mile event will end in Albany on July 15, 2012. Over 500 cyclists are participating in this year’s bike tour, which is organized by Parks & Trails New York, and sponsored by the New York State Canal Corporation.