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11.6M Trail Opens in Poughkeepsie

Source: WestFair Business Journal / Peter Katz
POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — 12/24/2023

The first phase of Dutchess County’s urban trail project in Poughkeepsie has been named after former Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, who now is serving in Congress. The trail segment has been opened for public use. The Marcus J. Molinaro Northside Line (MJM Northside Line) was named after Molinaro in honor of his commitment to Dutchess County parks and his service to the county. He was the county executive before resigning after having been elected to Congress.

Molinaro joined Dutchess County Executive William F.X. O’Neil at a gathering of public officials and representatives from Scenic Hudson, Walkway Over the Hudson and Marist College at the trail for the naming ceremony.

The MJM Northside Line is 16 to 22 feet wide and a dual-lane pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists. It covers 1.2 miles from the new Hudson Heritage Plaza in the Town of Poughkeepsie to Parker Avenue (State Route 9G) in the City of Poughkeepsie. The trail, which is open around the clock, features lighting and is monitored by security cameras and law enforcement patrols. Plans call for it to be plowed as necessary during the winter months. Other amenities include secure bike parking, bench seating and bike repair stations.

O’Neil said, “This trail is a fantastic new connection for residents, visitors and students alike. For those looking to save on gas, the Northside Line is a fast, safe path to bike or walk to work or school. And for those looking to get more exercise, this split-use trail is a perfect way to safely connect to our popular WRS Dutchess Rail Trail and the world-renowned Walkway Over the Hudson.”

The MJM Northside Line was constructed along a former CSX rail line that was purchased by Scenic Hudson. The nonprofit transferred ownership of the property to the county in 2019. Construction on the trail segment began last year. The project’s cost was $11.6 million and was funded in part by the federal government’s American Rescue Plan.

“We were proud to work closely with CSX to secure this land and then turn it over to Dutchess County,” said Seth McKee, executive director of The Scenic Hudson Land Trust Inc., and Land Programs. “We are proud to continue to work … to bring open space into neighborhoods, by building climate smart infrastructure and ensuring equity and nature are front and center.”

A formal public ribbon-cutting for the new trail segment is expected to be held in the spring. Directional signs and safety railings still need to be installed.

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