Orange County Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony

GOSHEN – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking with other dignitaries to celebrate the start of construction to extend the Heritage Trail an additional 4.2 miles from Hartley Road in the Town of Goshen to East Main Street in the City of Middletown.

Neuhaus was joined at the event by City of Middletown Mayor Joe DeStefano, former Orange County Legislator Jeff Berkman, Orange County Director of Tourism Amanda Dana, Department of Public Works Commissioner Erik Denega, Parks Commissioner Jim Brooks and Town of Goshen Supervisor Doug Bloomfield.

“The expansion of the Heritage Trail into Middletown has been talked about for more than 20 years and we are excited to start construction on this important project,” Neuhaus said.

“Extending the trail makes perfect sense and will benefit Orange County in many ways. The economic impacts on the city of Middletown will be significant and we are excited about the health and wellness benefits this extension will offer. I am especially proud of the Orange County DPW and Parks departments for their hard work and effort to complete this project.”

The total cost for extending the Heritage Trail from Goshen through Middletown will be approximately $8 million in total, with funding for the project coming from a combination of New York State Parks grants ($500,000), Federal Transportation grants ($6.4 million) and Orange County funding ($1.1 million).

The project is located along the former route of the Erie Railroad, between Hartley Road in the Town of Goshen and East Main Street in the City of Middletown. The project will include grading and paving a 10-foot-wide asphalt shared-use trail including constructing a tunnel under Dolsontown Road and repairing six existing railroad bridges, two of which will utilize repurposed former Tappan Zee Bridge panels to carry the trail over City streets. The project is anticipated to be completed in the fall of 2020 and will create a paved surfaced trail from River Road in Harriman to East Main Street in Middletown, totaling approximately 18.4 miles.

“The City of Middletown has been fighting for 21 years to bring this Trail into our city,” DeStefano said. “The leadership of County Executive Neuhaus made it happen. We are excited about what this trail will bring to the city in the form of recreation and economic development. This is a big moment in time for Middletown.”

Earlier this year, the Heritage Trail was extended 2.2 miles from the Village of Goshen to Hartlely Road in the Town of Goshen. The Heritage Trail currently extends from Goshen to Harriman with roughly 150,000 people using it each year for running, biking, hiking and environmental and natural studies. It has access points in Monroe, Chester and Goshen, and features historic landmarks, scenic views, a bird/wildlife sanctuary and access to dining and shopping in the municipalities through which it runs. The trail is the second-most used County park behind Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Hamptonburgh

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