Sunday, December 23, 2018

Along the Empire State Trail

We all know the Empire State Trail is coming through Hudson. Entering from the north on Harry Howard Avenue, it will go down the Dugway to Mill Street and on to Dock Street, then turn left onto Front Street to Allen Street, then east on Allen Street to Third Street and on out of the city. In Hudson, the trail follows city streets.

Yesterday, a reader alerted Gossips that construction of the trail north of here, the thirty-six miles between Rensselaer and Greenport, requires authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers "to discharge fill material into waters of the United States." The following, quoted from the public notice issued by the ACE, reveals the specifics:
The work would involve the discharge of fill material into a total of 2.04 acres of wetlands, including palustrine emergent (1.79), scrub-shrub (0.23), and forested (0.01) wetlands, and 968 linear feet of stream channel, for the construction of a 36-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail. The trail would be comprised of 27 miles of off-road, utilizing the alignment of a historic trolley route that is currently maintained as an electric utility corridor, and would include the construction of six bridge crossings. The bridge crossings would be constructed over the Moordener Kill at one location and over the Valatie Kill at five locations along the proposed alignment. The remaining 9 miles would be comprised of on-road bike paths, sidewalks, and sidepaths, utilizing local, county, and state roadways where improvements would be made as needed to provide safe crossings and minimize conflicts with motor vehicles.  
The map below shows the wetland impacts in Stockport and Greenport. Click on the image to enlarge it, or click here to see the full document, which includes a map of each segment of the thirty-six miles of trail.

The ACE is now soliciting public comments on the proposed project to be used "to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effect, and other public interest factors." Comments can be submitted electronically to The deadline for submitting comments is Wednesday, January 16.

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