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A safer fishin' hole in Halfmoon

Anglers have something else to flip for besides fish.

Construction on a fishing pier that would provide access for the physically disabled began Monday, July 7, under Crescent Bridge in Halfmoon.

This is a nice project where a community group worked with town and state officials, said Nelson Ronsvalle, grant coordinator for the Town of Halfmoon.

Ronsvalle worked with the Town Board and the Capital District Fly Fishers to secure funding for the project, which has an estimated cost of $48,900.

The town received a spot-improvement grant from the state Department of Transportation in the amount of $40,000, and the town will contribute an additional $8,900 to complete the project.

"This is a unique asset not only for Halfmoon, but neighboring communities," said Ronsvalle.

The project, which took three years of planning, is slated for completion Tuesday, Oct. 7, according to Ronsvalle.

Construction will be completed in three phases, beginning with the paving of a path to the pier for wheelchair access followed by placing a railing on the front of the landing and a concrete wall with curb to prevent fishers from falling on the bank.

In addition to preventing accidents, the railing will also give people a place to rest their arms while fishing.

Parking for the fishing pier is available on Terminal Road in Halfmoon.

The Capital District Fly Fishers presented plans to the Town Board to upgrade the fishing pier for people with mobility issues. The group modeled its plans off another fishing group's "Project Access," which sought to make waters in the Catskills more accessible to older individuals or those with disabilities.

Halfmoon resident Rodney Prittel, who is a member of the Capital District Fly Fishers often fishes from the pier. "I thought in my mind that it would be a great place for people with mobility problems and people who cannot be exposed to direct sunlight," he said.

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