ALBANY, NY (07/11/2012)(readMedia)-- A critical missing link in the Erie Canalway Trail in Lyons will be constructed beginning this year, the New York State Canal Corporation announced today.
Once completed, the new trail segment between Abbey Park and Erie Canal Lock 27 will link to an Erie Canalway Trail segment currently under construction in the Towns of Arcadia and Lyons, and a recently announced new segment from Amherst to Lockport, helping to create a 134 mile uninterrupted trail route from Lyons to Buffalo.
The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail project will be constructed with Canal Corporation funds in partnership with Wayne County and the Village of Lyons. Features will include a new 10-foot wide asphalt trail, as well as informational and directional signage.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said, "The Erie Canal and Canalway Trail continue to serve as one of the Empire State's most important economic corridors, generating jobs for New York through tourism, recreation, agriculture, green energy, commerce and more. With events like cycling the Erie Canal, and the year-round benefits that residents and visitors alike derive from this wonderful trail system, we continue to deliver on Governor Dewitt Clinton's visionary promise of prosperity and development nearly two centuries ago."
Howard P. Milstein, Chairman of the Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, said, "New York's historic Canal corridor features some of the most charming communities anywhere in the State. The Canalway Trail provides access to the Canal for landside residents and visitors alike, and helps to promote economic development in upstate New York. We are pleased to announce construction of this new segment of trail."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "The Canalway Trail is a terrific resource and its completion remains an 'upstate solution' for economic development, particularly for the region as it looks to build its tourism industry. I applaud the announcement of this new project for helping to close one of the critical gaps in the trail."
Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, "With nearly $380 million in tourism-related economic benefits to Canal Corridor communities and businesses annually, the Canal System is poised to play a major role in fueling upstate New York's economic comeback. The Canalway Trail is becoming increasingly popular, and completing critical gap segments like this will help communities realize the full potential for tourism and recreation along the corridor."
This announcement of new trail construction comes as members of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's cabinet and senior staff joined with more than 500 cyclists from around the country for the 14th annual Cycling the Erie Canal event, a 400-mile bicycling tour along the route of the Erie Canal from Buffalo to Albany. During the tour along the Canal corridor, senior members of the Governor's administration – "Team New York" – are highlighting the beauty, history, culture and recreational appeal of the State Canal System and the Canalway Trail, while also stopping in communities along the way to announce the launch of NY Works projects and other important economic development initiatives. On Sunday, Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton announced plans for another 8-mile segment of the Erie Canalway Trail which will be built between Amherst and Lockport.
Assemblyman Robert Oaks said, "I'm pleased that the canal trail is going to be completed in eastern Wayne County. The Erie Canal has played a vital role in this county in terms of history, tourism, community identity and economic development. The canal is an important component to what makes this region significant; it is a draw for bikers, hikers, boaters and other tourists. Having the path complete in this area has been one of my goals."
Village of Lyons Mayor Corrine Kleisle said, "As we welcome the riders participating in the annual Cycling the Erie Canal event today, we also look forward to the new travelers that the finished trail section will bring to Lyons, and throughout the corridor. Governor Cuomo and the Canal Corporation deserve high praise for making this a reality."
Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said, "We applaud this announcement of new trail work by the Canal Corporation. What a wonderful investment in New York State, the Erie Canalway Trail, a way to generate tourism and keep New Yorkers proud of where they live."
The Lyons Erie Canalway Trail segment is part of the statewide Erie Canalway Trail linking the Hudson River and Lake Erie. More than three-quarters of the 348-mile Erie Canalway Trail from Buffalo to Albany is now completed. A 2007 study estimated that the Erie Canalway Trail generates approximately $42 million annually in economic benefits to communities and businesses along the Trail.
The 14th annual Cycling the Erie Canal tour began in Buffalo on July 8th. The 8-day, 400-mile event will end in Albany on July 15th, 2012. Over 500 cyclists are participating in this year's bike tour, which is organized by Parks & Trails New York and sponsored by the Canal Corporation.