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Hudson Valley Rail Trail


04-03-11


  As was last year during my first ride across the Walkway,there was snow on the higher peaks of the Catskills.In spite of what the calender said,it was more fall like with fall-like brisk winds and tempature in the the mid 40s.I would estimate, at mid span on the Walkway,the peak wind speed must have been 50 kts After stoping at the east end to take some pictures,and to put on my winbraker for the anticipated extreme wind at mid span,a lady yelled out to me “is it this windy?” I yelled back “only during the fall!”


  I had contacted Ralph Diaz (via e mail) of the Hudson Valley RT Association to inform him that the HVRT is now a part of Adventure Cycling’s Atlantic Coast route.In his reply,he had indicated that CR 12 and the RT are both still closed where the county road crosses over the RT.He had indicated that construction on the new bridge (or “brunnel”) would be complete by June and both the RT and the county road would be open at that time.However,he had also mentioned that another bridge,on the same county road, over the undeveloped ROW would also be replaced sometime after.Good news – bad news.This does not bode well for the first ACA organized Atlantic Coast route tour group who will be departing Maine in August of this year.They will be riding the entire length of the route to Florida.
It should be pointed out that this new county road bridge project started,as per a local had talked to last year,before the RT extension (phase 2) project which included a similar bridge (or “brunnel”) for a town road (Mile Hill Rd.) and a new pedestrian arch bridge over Vineyard Ave (SR 55/US 44) in the village of Highland.The new extension opened to the public October 2,2010.


  After taking off my windbraker at the west end of the Walkway,and the east end of the RT,I continued west.I had noted several new benchs and some newly planted trees.At Mile Hill Rd. I had noted that the keystones,with the lettering HVRT, were in place at the top of the “brunnel” portals.With these keystones,this structure is even more clearly defined as a tunnel in spite of what the civil engineering term for this type of structure would otherwise indicate,an arch bridge.Thus my unoficial term “brunnel”.At Commercial Ave.,there was a new kiosk area with benches and a unique bike rack in the form of a bicycle,a bike bike-rack.There were also some new trees and some landscaping as well.I rode onto the old section to what has now become a permanant “feature” of this rail trail,the construction barricade a bit less than 1/2 mile west of the pavilion.I had seen that some actual progress has been made.The plain,industrial looking,county highway arch bridge was in place.This clearly was just that,a smooth faced concrete arch bridge,even from the perspective of the RT.At the rock cut,I had noted there was still some snow.

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