HAUPPAUGE, NY – On Tuesday, July 17, 2018 the Suffolk County Legislature, in a bi-partisan effort, voted overwhelmingly to approve the bonding of funds to advance the Rails to Trails recreational path project. The resolution, which approved the bonding of $8.82 million, 94% of which is reimbursable through federal grant funds, was approved by 17 members of the Legislature, with one member abstaining.
The Rails to Trails project is a 10-mile, multi-use recreational path that runs along the former Long Island Rail Road right-of-way. The trail route runs parallel to Route 25A from Mt. Sinai to Wading River and the design will incorporate the new Tesla Science Museum in Shoreham, as well as the many parks, businesses, and schools adjacent to the trail. The project is funded by approximately $10 million in total, $9.509 million of which is federal grants that have been specifically allocated to the construction of multi-use trails.
The project has received extensive community support and support from numerous clubs and organizations, including Friends of the Greenway Trails, New York Bicycling Coalition, Vision Long Island, and Concerned Long Island Mountain Bikers (CLIMB). The Suffolk County Department of Public Works and Legislator Anker are currently working with these and other local groups on maintenance agreements to assist in upkeep of the trail. In addition, Legislator Anker continues to seek private funding for additional privacy fencing and landscaping along the trail.
“Greenway trails provide positive health, economic, and transportation benefits, in addition to having a positive impact on community pride,” stated Legislator Sarah. “I want to extend my thanks to all of the community members and bicycle and running clubs who voiced their support for this project. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues at the Federal, State, and Town levels to complete this important project.”
“I am incredibly excited for our community and all residents of Suffolk County that the Legislature moved this project a step closer to completion,” said Legislator Kara Hahn. “Runners, walkers, bikers and all park lovers will soon have a 10 mile extension to our beloved East Setauket to Port Jefferson Station Greenway Trail. This will bring in recreational tourists from around the region to enjoy our community treasure and our local businesses will benefit.”
The trail is currently in the design phase awaiting final review and approval by the New York State Department of Transportation. Suffolk County anticipates breaking ground on the construction of the trail in 2019 and completion in 2020.