November 15, 2010

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Walkway Over the Rondout to be restored

NEW PALTZ – The work to raise the $750,000 to restore the historic 114 year old railroad trestle over Rondout Creek and Route 213 in Rosendale is about to begin by the Wallkill Valley Land Trust and Open Space Institute.

“This is going to be a wonderful asset to the community when it’s finished. A 24-mile continuous rail trail, spotlighting the unmatched beauty of this part of New York State and will draw visitors and dollars from all over the region. The recreational, scenic, historical, and economic benefits this project provides are monumental,” said Christine Ferguson, executive director of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust.

Engineers have completed a structural inspection of the trestle to determine the extent of the restorations needed to ensure it will be safe for public use.

“The bridge appears to be in great condition; we’ll confirm that with further analysis, but I’m very optimistic,” said company project manager professional engineer Michael Cooper.

The engineering report will be available in January 2011, with repair work expected to commence in the spring of 2011. The restoration project is estimated to take about 12 months.

The 940-foot-long railroad trestle will be closed for the duration of the project.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has committed $150,000 toward the trestle renovation project. OSI and WVLT are launching a major fundraising effort in the New Year.

In August 2009, WVLT and OSI together acquired 11.5 miles of the former Wallkill Valley Railroad, nearly doubling the length of the existing Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. That acquisition included the Rosendale railroad trestle, which is now solely owned by the Wallkill Valley Land Trust.

When completely restored and renovated, the rail trail and trestle will be conveyed to the towns of Rosendale and Ulster, with WVLT maintaining conservation easements on the properties.

Once all work is completed, the improved Wallkill Valley Rail Trail will extend from the southern border of Gardiner to the city of Kingston, affording walkers, hikers, bikers and all users panoramic views of Shawangunk Ridge, the Binnewater Lakes region and the hamlet of Rosendale. 



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