New Waterfront Trail Will Honor Alco’s Role in Transportation and Military History
(Schenecctady County, NY) The Schenectady County Legislature today announced a series of actions that will highlight the heritage of the former American Locomotive Company (Alco) at the former Alco site now being redeveloped as Mohawk Harbor, a 60-acre mixed-use development along the Mohawk River.
The County Legislature is expected to enact a resolution at its meeting Tuesday night naming the new hike/bike trail along the riverfront at Mohawk Harbor the Alco Heritage Trail.
The new trail is being built by Schenectady County using funding from the New York State Department of State, the New York State Canal Corporation, Metroplex and the Galesi Group. The trail will cover the entire waterfront section of the former Alco site. Overall, the 1.5 mile Alco Heritage Trail will extend from the Western Gateway Bridge to Freeman’s Bridge along the riverfront. The developers of the former Alco site will grant a permanent easement on the riverfront property to Schenectady County guaranteeing public access to the trail on a perpetual basis. The easement will be filed with the County Clerk’s office. The Galesi Group is donating $100,000 to the cost of constructing the new trail.
Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature said, “In partnership with the Galesi Group, we have cleaned up the Alco site and have opened it up for public access with the new and exciting Mohawk Harbor development. Next, we are working with the developers, to name the new waterfront trail in honor of the thousands of Schenectadians who helped to shape transportation and military history at the Alco site.”
Gary Hughes, Majority Leader of the Legislature said, “The new trail is a major feature of the Mohawk Harbor site and we are excited to name the trail after Alco. We also plan to install markers along the trail that highlight this company’s great history.”
County leaders said they will also continue discussions with Proctors CEO Philip Morris about including a Home Front Tribute area at the site designed to honor both GE and Alco workers who helped win World War II on the home front by working long hours to produce key military hardware. The monument and greenspace would be located along the Alco Heritage Trail.
The new waterfront trail is being designed by CHA Companies under contract to Schenectady County. The County will issue bids for the construction of the trail later this year with work to be completed in 2017 in coordination with other site work at Mohawk Harbor.
The County also received funding from the Governor’s Regional Economic Development Council last fall to design an extension of the trail to Riverside Park in Schenectady completing the linkage necessary to run the trail from bridge to bridge along the Mohawk waterfront.
The Alco Heritage Trail is the latest in a series of upgrades to the Schenectady County Hike/Bike Trail supported by the County Legislature including improvements to the trail crossing at Route 5S in Rotterdam Junction, new interpretive trail signage in Rotterdam and new paving also in Rotterdam. Approximately 2 miles of additional trail paving will occur in 2016 along with upgrades to trail bollards and gates. In total, Schenectady with support from State and federal grants, has invested more than $4 million in upgrades to the trail which runs from the Niskayuna/Colonie border to Rotterdam Junction.
The County Legislature plans to include funding for historical markers along the trail in the 2017 budget.
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