Before town officials and engineers had even arrived for the ribbon-cutting ceremony, people were already out enjoying the path, walking their dogs and riding bikes.
The bike-hike path connecting the Shelter Cove Neighborhood to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Path at Colonie Town Park was officially opened Friday, Aug. 29.
The path and bridge were funded by Prime Companies, which is the developer of the Shelter Cove Neighborhood, and inspected by Mark Metchick of the engineering firm Hershberg and Hershberg. The contractor for the new Shelter Cove connector was Galusha & Sons, LLC. The concrete contractor was Northwoods Concrete.
“Every connection that we make to the bike path is just wonderful. We’re just thrilled with the bridge and the connection. It’s absolutely beautiful. We’ve had quite a few, and this is another beautiful addition,” said Town Supervisor Paula Mahan.
The development off Route 9 has 200 apartments, 111 single-family homes and two commercial buildings.
“We connected it (the path) to our apartment complex on the other side … we donated the land, 10 acres, and we connected it to our complex. So with all our roads over there and our tenants and the people that live in the sub-division, the homeowners, they’ll be able to ride their bikes to Buffalo, I guess,” said Ken Raymond of Prime Companies.
As part of an agreement between the town and the developer, the path was built to help improve the quality of life for Colonie residents and those living in the neighborhood. The path was also created as a way to fix the area, since it was disturbed so utilities could be put in and connected between the park and the development.
“This was the route. So with all (of) the disturbance going on, why don’t we — as part of the public benefits of the project … since all the disturbance and clearing of the greens is going on, why don’t we make the bike path? It was part of the planning board and the review process,” said Michael Lyons, senior planner for the Colonie planning department.
The planning board has been trying to work with developers seeking a rezoning for a project. The incentive to create a better community by creating a well-rounded project works in the favor of both the town and developer.
“We have been working with developers as they build new developments, as the opportunity is there to connect to the bike path. Then we work on that and talk about that, and the developers have been wonderful. We have several new connections in just the last few years with this being the newest, and it’s a great addition,” said Mahan.
This is part of the planning process, and in the comprehensive plan, one of the goals is to improve the bike path and connections. Another goal is to improve options for pedestrians.
“It’s all part of building on to the goals of the comprehensive plan, our planning goals for the community and it’s a work in progress,” said Mahan. “The new connections to the bike path, the passive park on Latham River Road, the improvements at the golf course, the new connections from developers to the bike path and new neighborhoods … this is all part of what our plan is calling for.”