It’s not every day that the City of Kingston is awarded $21.7 million. In fact, until this Thursday so large a federal grant to Kingston had never happened.
The award funds, shepherded through Congress by congressmember Pat Ryan and senator Chuck Schumer, are from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program. It includes five major components that will considerably strengthen the Rondout waterfront neighborhood.
We’ll all get to see how far this major public investment in the neighborhood will go. An information update on the grant will follow.
They five components are:
1. Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 2
Paving a ten-to-twelve-foot-wide ADA-compliant path for pedestrians and bicyclists on the Kingston Point rail-trail. The new path will traverse over an old bridge, pass behind the trolley museum, and end at a small trailhead on East Strand Street. This phase 2 includes fencing, interpretation of historical places, and the construction of a small building to exhibit 9/11 artifacts in the museum’s collection. The designs are complete, and the grant will be used for construction.
2. East Strand and North Street Complete Streets
The project’s second component includes the development of ADA-compliant sidewalks, a multi-use path or bike lanes, Complete-Streets amenities, and flood resilience measures for a mile and two-tenths along the roads parallel to the Rondout Creek — Rondout Landing, East Strand Street and North Street. Complete Streets will be implemented from the end of Broadway in the waterfront business district to the intersection of North Street and Delaware Avenue near Kingston Point Park. Green infrastructure and a canopy of urban street trees on Rondout Landing and East Strand will provide shade, stormwater capture, and species biodiversity. Two sections of East Strand that experience flooding during spring tides will be raised and rebuilt. He grant funds will be used for preliminary design, final design and construction.
3. Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 3 – Trolley Trail
This trolley trail begins at the intersection of East Strand and North Streets, traveling east along the causeway currently enjoyed by pedestrians and seasonal trolley-tour patrons. An elevated ten-foot-wide, 0.72-mile climate-resilient boardwalk is proposed along the causeway adjacent to the trolley tracks. The boardwalk will traverse the length of the causeway before turning north to provide an accessible route up through Rotary Park, where the trolley route ends at a replica trolley station at the mouth of Rondout Creek.
Shoreline stabilization of the causeway, utilizing living shoreline approaches, and historic/archaeological mitigation will be required to enhance biodiversity and protect the rich pre-historic legacy of the area. Designs are complete. The grant will be used for construction.
4. Rotary Park & Kingston Point Park pedestrian connections, raising of Delaware Avenue
The Empire State Trail/Brickyards Trail connections through Rotary Park and Kingston Point Park will be completed with a safe, accessible path. A new network of sidewalks and multi-use paths along Delaware Avenue will create a linear connection that fills a critical in the Empire State Trail. Delaware Avenue between North Street and Rotary Park will be raised to address flooding, which will provide 30 years of access to the parks. Complete Streets will also be implemented to improve pedestrian and bicycle access and ADA-compliance. Grant funds will be for design and construction.
5. North Street Complete Streets
North of Delaware Avenue, Complete Streets will extend along North Street. Adjacent to the Hutton Brickyards, a paved pathway will connect to the Hudson River Brickyard Trail, completing the Empire State Trail/Kingston Greenline. This path will provide multi-modal access to the Sojourner Truth State Park. Grant funds will be used for design and construction. Three new electrical-vehicle charging stations will be installed at key locations, adding to an expanding citywide network of stations.
“Last year I stood in Kingston and promised I would not stop fighting for the community to reconnect our neighborhoods to the waterfront and transform the downtown, today I am pleased to say a promise made is now a promise kept,” said senator Schumer about the bipartisan legislation that made the project possible. “This game-changing $21+ million is the missing piece of the puzzle to help Kingston revitalize the downtown waterfront, bringing the city one step closer to achieving equity, creating good paying jobs, and bolstering economic development. Our infrastructure should connect, not divide the city, and with this highly competitive grant heading to the Hudson Valley, I am thrilled to help one of the true gems of Kingston – its waterfront – finally shine to its truest potential.”
Mayor Steve Noble said he was “so thrilled to win this monumental award.”
“This is an absolute game-changer for the City of Kingston and the region as a whole,” said congressman Ryan. “This transformational investment will provide sustainable transportation options, good-paying jobs, and cement our waterfront as a landmark destination for Hudson Valley residents for decades to come.”