There could be another way to get between the towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon, after Clifton Park's town board approved a motion to submit an application for matching grant funds to design and construct a trail along the historic Erie Canal.
The project is to design and build the 5.5 mile trail from Clifton Park to the town of Halfmoon. Councilman Thomas Paolucci, who is coordinating the project that will be part of the Mohawk Towpath Trail Project, said, I am very pleased to sponsor this legislation that will attempt to acquire Federal funds for the construction of the Mohawk Towpath Byway Trail.
The project is to design and rehabilitate the former historic route of the Erie Canal towpath for transportation re-use as a pedestrian and bicyclist trail as an alternative route for Riverview Road in Clifton Park, and Canal Road and Clam Steam roads in Halfmoon.
The project will provide improved public access to sections of the historic Erie Canal towpath that have been inac-cessible. The application will further efforts by the towns to safely connect their historic hamlets along the Mohawk River, as well as newer neighborhoods to this transportation route for pedestrians and bicyclists.
"The funds in the five-year grant period are available for some of the construction costs that would be associated with the 5.5 mile trail that runs adjacent to the Erie Canal," Paolucci said.
This proposed trail project is part of the Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Corridor, which is a state-designated and federally designated scenic byway. It's a priority implementation action of the Mohawk Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan, as well as regional and local plans over 30 years that have called for trails along the canal towpaths. The project is supported by the towns of Clifton Park and Halfmoon, including the town of Clifton Park Open Space, Trails and Riverfront Committee; and the town of Halfmoon Trails Advisory Committee; and many local citizen groups. The Mohawk Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition, Inc. is also in full support of the project.
"I think that we have a really good project that has a high probability of getting some funding because of the historic importance of the Erie Canal and the significance of the project to both Halfmoon and Clifton Park," said Paolucci.""