Trail to be paved

The start to The Canalway Trail in Fort Plain with a construction sign shown in this Thursday photo. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O’Hara)

FONDA— The Montgomery County Bike Trail is getting un upgrade, making it easier to navigate and use.

Montgomery County Legislature held its meeting Tuesday night at the Legislative chambers in the County office building at 64 Broadway St.

One of the items on the agenda was Montgomery County Bike Trail Restoration Project.

For this project, any sections of the Canalway Trail that are unpaved in Montgomery County will be getting paved with asphalt. Andrew Santillo, communications specialist of the office of the executive said they will be paving any areas that aren’t paved and skip areas that are already paved.

“Basically [we’re] trying to connect the dots,” Santillo said.

Starting in October they will be paving the section of the Canalway Trail that is from St. Johnsville to Fort Plain. Their goal is to get that section paved before winter comes and the weather changes. Santillo said it is a 10-mile stretch.

The section of the trail from Canajoharie to Fort Plain has already been paved, and once spring comes they would continue to pave other sections of the Montgomery County trail.

“By the end of October, St. Johnsville to Fort Plain will be completed,” said Roy J. Diamond, chairman of Legislature, District 3.

Work crews have been currently preparing the area to be paved.

Santillo said they have been trimming trees, peeling sod off and adding stone dust where it’s needed, so the trail is ready for the paving process.

The county secured three grants to fund the project, the Parks and Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Canal Corporation and New York state Dormitory Authority.

According to the agenda packet, Sen. George Amadore was able to secure $225,000 in funding through the Dormitory Authority for the third grant.

Santillo said altogether with the three grants they will have roughly $500,000 in funding to pave the trail.

The Canalway Trail is approximately 360 miles long that runs through 14 counties of Upstate New York, from Albany to Buffalo following the Erie Canal. The Montgomery County section of the trail is approximately 40 miles from St. Johnsville to Amsterdam.

According to the Cycle The Erie Canal website, the Canalway is a cycling destination that follows one of the world’s most famous manmade waterways.

The website states, “Whether enjoying a leisurely ride from village to another or spending a week completing the entire 360 miles, the Erie Canalway Trail offers endless adventures exploring the charming towns, living history, scenic beauty and cultural attractions of New York State.”

By Patricia Older

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