$21.7M Grant to Revitalize Kingston Waterfront

KINGSTON – After standing in Kingston’s downtown to push for federal funding last year, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently announced he has secured a game changing $21.7 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program to boost transportation and transform Kingston’s waterfront.

The senator fought relentlessly alongside local leaders, writing and personally calling Transportation Secretary Buttigieg to secure the award. The senator also secured historic increases in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act that have allowed more projects to be awarded, like in Kingston. Schumer said that this long awaited federal funding will significantly expand the walkability of the waterfront through new paths and greenways, connect residents from underserved neighborhoods to the downtown, and bolster the historic waterfront business district.

Congressman Pat Ryan speaks as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently announced he has secured a game changing $21.7 million.
Congressman Pat Ryan speaks as U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer recently announced he has secured a game changing $21.7 million.

“Last year I stood in Kingston with a coalition of community members and promised that I would not stop fighting for them until we reconnected our neighborhoods to Kingston’s historic Rondout waterfront area to transform and revitalize the downtown. Today, I am pleased to say a promise made to the people of Kingston is now a promise kept. This game-changing $21+ million is the missing piece of the puzzle to help Kingston revitalize the Rondout waterfront, bringing the city one step closer to a more vibrant, beautiful and equitable downtown, creating good paying jobs, and bolstering economic opportunity for all,” said Senator Schumer. “Our infrastructure should connect, not divide the city, and with this highly-competitive grant heading to the Hudson Valley, I am thrilled to help one of the true gems of Kingston – the Rondout waterfront – finally shine to its truest potential. As majority leader, when I led the bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to passage, I had project’s like Kingston’s downtown revitalization in mind because it will be the catalyst for a total Rondout reboot – benefiting our residents, businesses, and visitors alike. I am excited to see this major funding work in tandem with the historic wins from my Bipartisan Infrastructure & Jobs Law to increase quality of life, reconnect neighborhoods to the waterfront, and revitalize the local economy.”

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (right) shakes hands with NYS Senator Michelle Hinchey (left) after Shumer announced he has secured a game changing $21.7 million to help revitalize Kingston Waterfront.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (right) shakes hands with NYS Senator Michelle Hinchey (left) after Shumer announced he has secured a game changing $21.7 million to help revitalize Kingston Waterfront.

“Both as County Executive and now in Congress, I’ve fought to deliver for Hudson Valley families, working to secure the infrastructure investments we need to revitalize our local economy and create good-paying jobs. This is an absolute game-changer for the city of Kingston and the region as a whole,” said Congressman Pat Ryan. “This transformational investment will provide sustainable transportation options, good-paying jobs, and cement our waterfront as a landmark destination for Hudson Valley residents for decades to come. Thank you to Senator Schumer and Mayor Noble for their close partnership throughout this process – I cannot wait to see our vision for Kingston’s waterfront come to fruition.”

Specifically, Schumer said this $21.7 million in federal funding will fully fund Kingston’s “Weaving the Waterfront Transportation Project,” investing in the design and construction for walking and biking connections on trails and streets from neighborhoods to business districts, open space, and parks along the Rondout Creek and the Hudson River in Kingston, NY. Schumer explained that the funding will go towards five major projects to help connect Kingston’s neighborhoods:
· Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 2: A brand new 10-to-12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists will be built, which will be ADA-compliant and include fencing, interpretation of historical places, and a building to display 9/11 artifacts.
· East Strand and North Street Complete Streets: Develop 1.2 miles of ADA-compliant sidewalks, multi-use paths, urban street trees, and bike lanes along roads parallel to Rondout Creek, providing shade, capturing stormwater, and promoting species biodiversity.
· Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 3 – Trolley Trail: A new 0.72-mile climate-resilient boardwalk along the causeway, adjacent to the trolley tracks, showcasing the area’s rich pre-historic legacy, and preserving Kingston’s history and natural beauty.
· Rotary Park & Kingston Point Park Pedestrian Connections/Raising of Delaware Avenue: Completion of the Empire State Trail/Hudson River Brickyards Trail connections through Rotary Park and Kingston Point Park with a safe, accessible path to improve pedestrian and bicycle access.
· North Street Complete Streets: Extension of complete Streets along North Street with a new 10-to-12-foot paved pathway connecting to the Hudson River Brickyard Trail and installation of three new electrical vehicle charging stations at key locations.
· East Strand Flood Protections: Elevate two portions of East Strand to protect from climate and sea level change in a flood-prone area.

Schumer explained that the $21.7M RAISE grant (formerly known as BUILD or TIGER) Kingston has just received is a highly competitive national grant program through the U.S. Department of Transportation which funds transportation projects of national and regional significance. The senator secured historic increases for the program in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, at $7.5 billion over five years, with $1.5 billion per year. The City of Kingston applied for funding through RAISE for their “Weaving the Waterfront Transportation Project” for 3 years in a row. Last year, Schumer visited Kingston, and he has written and personally called Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg multiple times advocating for the project. When Kingston did not receive the grant in earlier rounds, Schumer assisted the City of Kingston in obtaining technical assistance through U.S. DOT to bolster and improve their application. The senator thanked Mayor Noble for his persistence and vision in getting this done.

“We are so thrilled to win this monumental award, and wholeheartedly thank Senator Schumer for his tireless advocacy for Kingston. He sees, like we do, Kingston’s need for connection to our breathtaking natural resources, making these assets accessible to residents of all abilities, and protecting our downtown homes and businesses from a changing climate. This grant will not only make an entire neighborhood safer, it will beautify the area, and bring sustainable growth to the waterfront. Thank you, Secretary Buttigieg and the USDOT, for supporting Kingston with the largest grant in our City’s history and believing in our vision for what our waterfront can become,” said City of Kingston Mayor Steve Noble.

“This announcement is an incredible victory for Kingston. As state senator, I am thrilled to have worked alongside Senator Schumer to secure this historic grant for Kingston’s waterfront revitalization project and I am excited to collaborate with local leaders and community members to make sure this funding is used effectively and efficiently to revitalize our downtown and waterfront areas. This is a transformative investment that will keep Kingston on a path to ensure a vibrant, equitable, and sustainable city for all. I am proud to fight for state investments in Albany that will continue to support Kingston’s growth and prosperity, and am thrilled to be a part of this historic moment for our community,” said NYS Senator Michelle Hinchey.

“I am incredibly thrilled to witness the significant influx of federal funds being allocated to Ulster County, which will greatly assist our community in adapting to the tangible and perilous effects of climate change that we are already facing. This remarkable investment in Kingston is truly well-deserved, as Mayor Noble and his dedicated team have been laser-focused on implementing climate adaptive design and mitigating damage from a changing climate for the past eight years. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to Senator Schumer for recognizing the City of Kingston and Ulster County’s steadfast commitment to combating climate change and for providing these remarkable new resources that will enable us to continue leading the Mid-Hudson region and the entire state of New York in our efforts to address this global challenge,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger.

“This historic investment of over $21 million secured by Senator Schumer is a game-changer for Kingston’s waterfront and downtown areas. The funding will increase walkability, biking, and flood protections, while also creating new opportunities for economic growth and job creation in the community. We commend Senator Schumer for his unwavering dedication to this project and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have on the Hudson Valley region,” said Mike Oates, President and CEO of HVEDC.
“The Ulster County Chamber of Commerce applauds Senator Schumer’s work to secure this significant investment in Kingston’s waterfront. This funding will create new economic opportunities for our region, enhance our infrastructure, and promote sustainable transportation options. We look forward to working with our local partners to ensure that this investment benefits our businesses and residents, and we thank Senator Schumer for his continued support of Ulster County and the Hudson Valley,” said Ulster County Chamber of Commerce President Ward Todd.

In addition, Schumer explained that the region will benefit from several programs included in the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), including $11.5 billion in new highway funding for New York State. This amount includes an estimated $289 million for New York in Transportation Alternatives funds to build out walking and biking facilities. Local entities like the Ulster County bus system, UCAT, will also get a major boost from the IIJA with $ 8,062,133 in direct funding, which is on top of the nearly $5 million UCAT received in the CARES Act, and $1,310,895 from the American Rescue Plan. The senator also secured $17.3 Million in flexible local aid for the City of Kingston in the American Rescue Plan.

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