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Checking out the new Rensselaer esplanade

Rensselaer esplanade view of Albany

We got a chance Friday afternoon to hop over the river and check out the new esplanade along the riverfront in Rensselaer. There are some large-format photos below if you'd like to gawk a bit.

The city formally announced the opening of the $3.1 million project that morning. The 1,000-foot-long linear park, which was funded by the state, currently includes a walkway along the river and really some nice views of the Albany skyline.

That said, there's not a lot there right now. The park is tucked behind the deLaet's Landing construction site where Broadway passes over the Amtrak tracks. And you have to walk along a gravel construction road to reach the park.

But you can see how it's the start of something. When the park's fully completed it will have a bike path and the possibility of hosting outdoor events. And the deLaet's Landing project -- it's the under-construction building you can see from the Jennings Landing in Albany -- will include 96 residential units and some commercial retail space. So there's some room for interesting things to happen.

More connections
One other thing: Seeing the esplanade reinforced the idea for us that the cities of Albany and Rensselaer could both benefit from a better pedestrian/bike/whatever connection across the river. Between the improvements in Corning Riverfront Park, the in-planning Albany Skyway, the development at the Rensselaer esplanade, and the plans for the Albany South End Connector and the Albany-Hudson Electric Trail, there are possibilities to create an interesting cross-river zone (if that's the word) of parks and trails and even commuting.

It's just one more reason to think about how to incorporate a pedestrian/bike path on the next version of the nearby Livingston Ave Bridge.

Photos

Look up, they're at the top -- click or scroll all the way up.

Comments

Now I just hope they don't smell the dump in Rensselaer, the sewage treatment plant in East Greenbush, or the proposed transfer station at the Port of Rensselaer.

Thanks as always for the Livingston Ave. Bridge shot out. I really appreciate your continued coverage!

-Martin

That livingston ave bridge is the key! not only to Rensselaer but to Arbor Hill and the warehouse district..as well as a connection to Troy.

I remember Schumer speaking out on it a few years back....but is it an Amtrak funding issue or a federal infrastructure issue?

Bring on the gondola! Seriously, I think it is a better idea than the highway-ramp park.

Any idea why it has been taking so long to construct the residential building in Rensselaer ("deLaet's Landing")? It seems like the clearing and construction have been going on for years now.

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