It won’t be long before the 4-mile long Tonawanda Rails to Trails Project, the connecting trail between Kenmore Avenue in the Town of Tonawanda to State Street in the City of Tonawanda, will be complete. This week, elected officials and representatives from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (“NFTA”) and New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”), met to take a look at the most recent work underway along the trail.
The 12-foot wide, $2.6 million rails-to-trails project, featuring parking areas at either end of the trail, is expected to be completed by October 31, 2015.
“This Project is an investment in our community that promotes connectivity between neighborhoods and allows residents from all over the Trail area to explore Erie County without having to get into a car. Residents can now traverse communities by biking, jogging, or walking and enjoy access to the waterfront all the way from the City of Tonawanda to the City of Buffalo,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “The Rails to Trails concept embraces smart growth principles, an idea I discussed in my ‘Initiatives for a Smart Economy’ address, by promoting enhanced walkability and protecting open spaces while reinvesting in established neighborhoods. This is a great community connector, and on behalf of all Erie County residents I want to thank all of our partners who assisted on this project.”
Erie County Legislator Peter Savage added, “As a representative of the Town of Tonawanda and the City of Buffalo, I am excited that the multi-million dollar Tonawanda Rails to Trails project is underway. This transformational project connects our suburban and city communities, and offers the public a unique opportunity to observe and travel through Tonawanda in a whole new way.”
“We are extremely happy to finally see the rails to trails project come to fruition,” said Town of Tonawanda Supervisor Anthony Caruana. “These plans were put on hold for years, successfully overcoming many obstacles. The rails-to-trails project connects the Town of Tonawanda to Buffalo and the City of Tonawanda. The trails design will link town spots with easy, and more importantly, safe walking and biking opportunities, encouraging recreation and alternative modes of transportation. We are all excited about the vast potential of this project.”
The Tonawanda Rails to Trails Extension Project
- Trail proceeds north from the current project’s terminus at State Street in the City of Tonawanda until it intersects Fillmore Avenue.
- The trail then proceeds north down Fillmore until it hits East Niagara Street and the Erie Canalway Trail.
- The portion of the Trail from State Street (after crossing Young Street) to Fillmore will be off road and will cross Ellicott Creek via the old railroad bridge.
- At the north end of the bridge the trail will pass by and connect to Eastern Park.
- Once the trail hits Fillmore pedestrians will be accommodated via sidewalk improvements and bicyclists will be accommodated in the roadway through re-paving, re-striping and lane sharing markings.