The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Walkway Over the Hudson today announced construction has begun on a new 21-story steel elevator tower that will connect the elevated Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park to the Poughkeepsie waterfront, further establishing the park as the centerpiece of a world-class network of parks and trails.
The approximately $2.8 million project will provide a direct connection from the elevated park to the Poughkeepsie waterfront, including Waryas Park and soon-to-be-created Upper Landing Park; facilitate tourism by providing more direct access to the Poughkeepsie train station; and provide easier access for persons with disabilities to the park near the center of the bridge.
The 8-foot-by-10-foot stainless steel elevator cab features observation windows on three sides and has a capacity to take up to 15 people on its 1½-minute ride. It is expected to be operational by late fall. The elevator construction contract was awarded to BCI Construction of Albany.
Additionally, the Walkway Over the Hudson friends group is spearheading a waterfront gateway project to improve access, safety, and visitor experience at the entranceway to elevator. The project will create a 400-foot path to the base of the elevator, complete with new fencing and railings, lighting, wayfinding signage, benches and landscaping. The gateway project is moving forward with the assistance of a $400,000 grant through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative and support from the Dyson Foundation.
A former railroad bridge completed in 1889, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park opened in 2009 and is visited by over 500,000 people a year. A 2012 study found that spending by Walkway visitors generated nearly $24 million in sales and supported 383 jobs in Dutchess and Ulster counties.
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation maintains and operates 179 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study by commissioned by Parks & Trails New York found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.