Construction will complete eight miles of trail first envisioned in the 1970s
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction will begin on a $2 million project to complete Phase One of the Black Diamond Trail in Tompkins County.
“The Black Diamond Trail is an important recreational resource for the region and these long-awaited improvements will further expand outdoor opportunities for residents and visitors alike,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project builds upon this region’s strengths and helps showcase the Southern Tier’s natural beauty, increasing tourism and economic activity in the process.”
“The Black Diamond Trail will connect communities and visitors to many fantastic parks in the region,” said State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey. "I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for his investment and leadership in improving and expanding access to outdoor recreation in New York State.”
The 8.5 mile section of trail runs along a former railroad line between Alan H. Treman State Park Marina/Cass Park and Taughannock Falls State Park. Work will include improving the trail surface work and replacing or repairing numerous culverts. The completed project will provide a stone dust surface and level grade. Construction is expected to be completed in Fall 2016.
Contractors will be using heavy equipment which will necessitate that sections of the trail be closed entirely during construction.
The $2 million Black Diamond Trail is funded through Governor Cuomo’s New York Parks 2020 program, a multi-year commitment to leverage $900 million in private and public funding for State Parks from 2011 to 2020. The Governor included $90 million toward this initiative in his 2016-17 Executive Budget.
Senator Tom O'Mara, Chairman of the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee, said, “Our region is fortunate to enjoy a premiere network of historic sites, parks and trails, including the Black Diamond Trail. It promises to be one of the state’s great multi-use trails, and it's truly exciting news that this enhancement project is getting underway. These investments will go a long way toward securing the future quality and strength of the Finger Lakes region’s recreational and tourism foundations.”
Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, “I’m thrilled that the long-awaited Black Diamond Trail is finally nearing completion. As an avid walker myself, I’m well aware that we have an amazing system of trails here in Tompkins County, serving as a wonderful resource for residents and visitors alike. The Black Diamond Trail will enhance our local parks and provide a valuable link between Trumansburg and Ithaca for walkers and bikers. My office, along with many others, has devoted a lot of time helping to see this project through to the end. It’s been a long road with many challenges, but the end result will certainly be worth it.”
Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said, “The start of construction on this long awaited trail is welcome news for our community. I thank the Governor and our partners in the legislature that dedicated the funding of this great recreational resource that will be used by tourists and our community for many years to come.”
The Black Diamond Trail, first envisioned in the early 1970s, is a planned 12-mile multi-use trail that will eventually connect Taughannock Falls State Park to Robert Treman State Park. Phase Two, currently in the development stage, would run from Alan H. Treman State Park Marina on the north side of Ithaca to Buttermilk Falls State Park on the southern edge of the city, and continuing south to Robert Treman State Park.