A class action lawsuit on the federal level targets the establishment of the Albany County Rail Trail. Neighboring landowners claim the purchase of an easement by the county robbed them of their property rights, and they're seeking compensation from the federal government.
continued Wald said his firm keeps track of rail-to-trail projects and examines them to see if a potential case can be made. The firm has handled similar cases all over the country.
Much of the Rail Trail remains closed to public use. A 1.8-mile section was opened to the public in Bethlehem in 2011 thanks to a public-private partnership with the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy and its Friends of the Rail Trail arm. In the summer of 2012, a 2.4-mile section in New Scotland and Voorheesville.
Opening the entire trail is an expensive proposition because bridges across several spans need repair or replacement. Doing all the work would require about $8 million, far more than what the county has secured in grant money. County officials are determined to pursue the trail without cost to the taxpayer.
Wald emphasized no matter what the outcome of the lawsuit, the trail itself will not be affected.
“We couldn’t stop it even if we wanted to. And we don’t,” he said.