New Elevated Park Will Connect Albany Neighborhoods to the Hudson River Waterfront
Project Will Convert Clinton Avenue Ramp off I-787 into a Landscaped, Multi-Use Pathway for Pedestrians and Cyclists
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced $3.1 million in funding for the Albany Skyway, which will transform the underutilized Clinton Avenue ramp off northbound Interstate 787 and Quay Street into an elevated, linear park. Once complete, the Albany Skyway will expand recreational opportunities in the City of Albany and provide a new, safe way for pedestrians and cyclists to reach the Corning Riverfront Park on the Hudson River waterfront.
"By supporting the construction of this exciting project, New York is providing additional opportunities for residents and visitors to reach the Hudson River and enjoy the region's natural beauty," Governor Cuomo said. "Elevated parks attract walkers, runners and cyclists, while boosting tourism in surrounding communities, and with the addition of this new attraction, we look forward to welcoming everyone to the Capital Region to experience the Skyway for years to come."
The funding announced today is in addition to a $375,000 grant that Capitalize Albany Corporation was awarded in December 2016 from Governor Cuomo's Regional Economic Development Council program. The project is sponsored by Capitalize Albany Corporation, the city's economic development organization, which is overseeing preliminary project planning and design.
The New York State Department of Transportation, which is administering the funding, will complete the project design and manage the initial stage of construction, which is expected to get underway by fall 2019 and be completed by late 2020.
State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Governor Cuomo understands the vital link between tourism, economic development and transportation infrastructure. This project exemplifies that. We look forward to continuing to work with the city of Albany on this transformative initiative, repurposing a highway ramp to create a park and new access to the Hudson River, further connecting the community to that national treasure."
The project will close the underused Clinton Avenue ramp, which travels underneath I-787 and links Quay Street and northbound I-787 to Broadway and Clinton Avenue at Quackenbush Square. The ramp will be repurposed as a landscaped multi-use park for pedestrians and bicyclists. It will provide safe, non-motorized access from downtown Albany and neighborhoods, such as Arbor Hill, Sheridan Hollow and the Warehouse District, to the Hudson River and the city's Corning Riverfront Park. The approximate half-mile-long Skyway will be fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The project complements improvements made by the city of Albany in 2016 to bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure in the Corning park that were made possible, in part, by DOT's Transportation Enhancements Program.
Senator Neil Breslin said, "This new Albany Skyway will be a great asset to residents and visitors of Albany. This multi-use, elevated pathway for pedestrians and cyclists will afford numerous additional recreational opportunities for everyone to enjoy. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this investment and helping to continue to make Albany and even better place to live, work and raise a family."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "Thank you to Governor Cuomo for supporting the Albany Skyway, which is a tremendous step in connecting the City of Albany back to the waterfront. This is an important next step after the recent investment in the Corning Riverfront to provide access for all users."
Assemblymember Pat Fahy said, "New York City's Highline Park became a top tourist attraction almost overnight and the similarly proposed Albany Skyway could prove just as transformational for the Capital Region. This project signals a new era for dramatically bolstering Albany's connection to the Hudson waterfront."
County Executive Dan McCoy said, "This is an excellent way for Capital Region residents to get outdoors and engage in healthy activity. Whether people enjoy walking or riding the Albany County Rail Trail or at the Corning Preserve, this will add another venue nearby to access the waterfront and enjoy."
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "Once again, Governor Cuomo has delivered in a big way for the City of Albany. The Albany Skyway will serve as a recreational resource and a key component in connecting our Downtown, Warehouse District, Sheridan Hollow and Arbor Hill neighborhoods to the Hudson River waterfront. This $3.1-million-dollar commitment from the State furthers our efforts to build a welcoming and vibrant Capital City."
Capitalize Albany Corporation President Sarah Reginelli said, "Governor Cuomo has consistently demonstrated support for the revitalization of Albany's downtown and waterfront, and a commitment of this kind makes all the difference in moving this catalytic Skyway project forward. With this funding and support from the Department of Transportation as the foundation, the Skyway will be a regional destination that enhances neighborhood connections to the Hudson River, impacts sustainability, and improves walkability and bikeability — all while driving additional investment in Albany's downtown core."