Tarrytown Board Agrees To Lead Effort To Fund RiverWalk Extension Under Cuomo Bridge
By Barrett Seaman—
Ned Sullivan, President of the influential environmental group Scenic Hudson, made a special trip to Tarrytown Monday night. He and two Scenic Hudson colleagues were there to encourage the village’s trustees to pass legislation making Tarrytown the lead applicant for an $868,750 grant that will fund an environmental review and preliminary design of a stretch of RiverWalk from where it currently ends at parking lot G near the south end of Green Street and Losee Park.
Currently, there is a gap of nine-tenths of a mile from Green Street to the bottom of Van Wart Avenue, where RiverWalk picks up again, passing under the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, on through to the Lyndhurst estate and into Irvington. The stretch, which will require passage along the river side of the Metro North tracks, is one of many unfinished pieces of a 51-mile pedestrian and bicycle pathway that runs from Peekskill to the north down into Yonkers.
The board’s vote to authorize was unanimous. It included specific language that there would be no cost to the village beyond administrative support. The application goes to the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council. Scenic Hudson had already secured $500,000 in grants from the New New York State Bridge Community Benefit Fund and contributed $100,000 of its own towards feasibility and basic design.
This time around, Scenic Hudson is adding another $217,187, which represents a quarter of the cost for the next phase. The rest will come from the CFA, or Consolidated Funding Application, assuming it is approved.
If so, as expected, it is estimated that this environmental review and design phase will be completed within two years, putting the project in “shovel-ready” status. Still, there is a third phase, estimated at around $3 million earmarked for permitting, preparing engineering specifications and construction drawings. That would go out for bid. After that comes construction. An optimistic estimate is that the project will be completed by the end of 2025 at a cost of between $25 and $30 million, possibly more. It is anticipated that the state and federal funding will cover most of the construction costs.
Though less than a mile long, the connection will be challenging. Engineers will have to design and build a pathway built atop the Hudson shoreline, with suitable barriers on the track side and substantial protections against storm surge on the river side. Residents of homes above the bluff in Tappan Landing as well as in The Quay condominium complex just north of the bridge will have to endure noise during the construction phase.
At a juncture yet to be determined, the path must come back over the tracks so that it can connect up with the Cuomo Bridge’s shared-use path and ultimately with the existing RiverWalk to the south. Currently, there are three options under consideration:
*Utilize an existing signal bridge just under the bridge’s northern (westbound) span. This would provide the shortest link to the shared use path;
*Tie into the current plaza at the base of Van Wart. This would require fewer stairs and other handicap access measures;
*Make the crossing even further south, near the ravine on the Montefiore campus, utilizing more gradual slopes up to the RiverWalk.
In the public comment section of the hearing, one resident, Katie Kreider of South Washington Street, asked for assurances that the transition node, wherever it ended up, be handicap accessible. Those assurances were given.
The “big picture” Ned Sullivan and his colleagues sought to convey to both the board and the public in Tarrytown was one in which RiverwWalk is one part of a “multi-modal transportation system” that links pedestrians and cyclists with the Metro North rail line, the Bee-line and Hudson Transit bus services—all of which come together in Tarrytown.