BikeCNY

Building a Bike-Friendly Community

Funds Available for Extending Lake Trail and Creekwalk, and enhance the Connective Corridor

Posted by Steve Reiter on September 23, 2016

From an article by Mark Weiner in today’s Post-Standard:

The federal government will provide almost $10 million to extend the Onondaga Creekwalk in Syracuse and build a new section of the recreation trail looping around Onondaga Lake.

The grant money also will pay for $475,000 worth of additions to the Connective Corridor linking Syracuse University to downtown, New York’s two U.S. senators said Wednesday.

The $10 million had been earmarked for other Syracuse-area transportation projects in 2005, but for unexplained reasons it was never spent. Federal rules blocked the grants from being used for other projects.

U.S. senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand backed legislation that gave the Federal Highway Administration and state Department of Transportation the flexibility to repurpose the money. The grants will help pay for:

› An extension of the Onondaga Lake recreation trail for 2.8 miles from the New York State Fair area to the southern shore in Syracuse. The federal government would provide $5 million toward the $13.3 million project. When complete, it would connect the lake trail with the Onondaga Creekwalk and Erie Canal trail.

› An extension of the Onondaga Creekwalk from Armory Square south for 2.2 miles to West Colvin Street. The federal government would provide $4 million for the pedestrian and bike trail along Onondaga Creek.

› About $475,000 worth of improvements on East Genesee Street as part of the Syracuse Connective Corridor. The corridor provides bike paths and other infrastructure to link Syracuse University with downtown Syracuse.

Under new federal rules, the Federal Highway Administration can now redirect federal funds earmarked for specific projects if the money remains unspent for more than 10 years.

Schumer had previously supported Onondaga County’s application for a $10 million competitive federal grant for the lake trail project, but the county did not make the final cut for funding. Contact Mark Weiner by email or at 571-970-3751.

Cyclists pedal along the west shore trail around Onondaga Lake last year. Money will go to make improvements and extend the trail. Michael Greenlar/mgreenlar@syracuse.com

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