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County Budgets $1.3 Million to Fund RiverWalk Extension

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December 8, 2021

 

This story was updated as of Dec. 9 at 2:00 p.m.

By Barrett Seaman–

Following the failure to win approval of a grant application intended to pay for a preliminary environmental review, County Executive George Latimer announced this week that the county was stepping into the breach, adding $1.3 million to its budget to fund that initial phase of the planned extension of the RiverWalk under the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

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Calling the move “a tremendous step forward that marries not-for-profit organizations and local government,” Latimer predicted “the creation of something that’s going to last for many, many years to come.”

The goal is to have the project in “shovel-ready status” in time to avail itself of funds from the recently passed $1.2 trillion federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The stretch of the RiverWalk, planned to run outside Metro North tracks to the base of Van Wort Avenue, remains a key “missing link” in the 51-mile trail spanning the length of Westchester’s Hudson waterfront.

Latimer made a formal announcement outside the Tarrytown Senior Center Thursday morning, accompanied by Scenic Hudson president Ned Sullivan, who had requested the money, and key local officials.

Last July, Tarrytown agreed to act as the lead agent in applying for a grant of $868,750 to fund the environmental review and preliminary design. According to Jeff Anzevino, project manager at Scenic Hudson, that grant application “didn’t pan out.” Scenic Hudson has kicked in $100,000 of its own money, with another $500,000 coming from the New New York State Bridge Community Benefit Fund.

As reported in The Hudson Independent last summer (see: https://www.thehudsonindependent.com/tarrytown-board-agrees-to-lead-effort-to-fund-riverwalk-extension-under-cuomo-bridge/), an optimistic estimate is that the entire project will cost between $25 and $30 million and be completed by the end of 2025.

A rendering of the RiverWalk as it would connect to the Mario Cuomo Bridge shared-use path

Closing that gap within that time frame will require significant additional contributions from both state and federal governments. It remains to be determined how much will come from the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, but Washington’s contributions will no doubt affect what Albany will contribute. In a statement to The Hudson Independent, State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said she “looks forward to being partners with the federal government, the county, our local communities, and others to provide help for this project.”

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