One of the many proposals to floated during Andrew Cuomo's ongoing State of the State tour this week is a plan to build the Empire State Trail -- a 750-mile multi-use path that would stretch from NYC to the Adirondacks and from Albany to Buffalo.
The Cuomo admin says it'd be the longest state multi-use path in the country.
The trail wouldn't have to be built from scratch. Cuomo said it would build on the 40 existing segments of the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway, and would require 350 miles of newly-built path. He said the state already owns most of the required land.
Thee cost would be $220 million in total, according to Cuomo, but the new segments would be be built in phases over three years. The first phase -- 72 miles of new trail -- would cost $53 million. The goal would be to complete all three phases by 2020.
Cuomo described the new trail system as a "legacy project that our children and our children's children will enjoy." And he predicted it "will change the economy through the Hudson Valley and the Erie Canal corridor" by generating new activity and tourism. The governor pointed to the success of the Walkway Over the Hudson as an example of how such a project can spur growth. That state would also roll out a mobile app with trail info and highlights of things to see and do along the path.
(Here's a link to Cuomo's comments about the trail during his speech at SUNY Purchase Tuesday.)
The project isn't a done deal. It has to get funding through the state budget process.
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