(WSYR-TV) — For years, New York State has been working on finishing its Empire State Trail, a 750-mile cycling and pedestrian route that runs across the state. However, there’s a 14-mile gap in Onondaga County and over the next two years, local and state workers are hoping to close it.
The project was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo back in 2017, but Wednesday morning, those involved revealed $35 million will now go toward the work in Central New York. More specifically, in Camillus, Syracuse and DeWitt.
“There’s this growing interest and demand in multi-use transportation so people don’t have to drive if they don’t want to,” said Andy Beers, Director of the Empire State Trail.
The multi-million dollar trail will be starting out in Camillus and bringing people to the Fairgrounds, running through Gate 12 out to Gate 2. It will then connect people around Onondaga Lake to the Creek Walk.
But the largest and most expensive part of the trail is along Erie Boulevard East in DeWitt. They’ll be knocking down the six-lane roadway to four lanes, and the trail will cut right through the center median.
“The beauty of this project is it does follow the historic path of the canal. So when you come from Ryder Park, next to the town hall now, it’ll cross Route 481 and move along Towpath Rd. into Erie Blvd.,” said Ed Michalenko, DeWitt Town Supervisor.
In the end, the trails will allow those who live in the suburbs to get to downtown Syracuse without a car or vice versa.
“It means a lot to the region, but it also is great improvement for the quality of life,” Michalenko said.
The Erie Blvd. East portion of the trail will cost $27 million alone. The funds for the entire project are mostly coming from the state.
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