The New York State Canal Corporation and the Town of Arcadia announced recently the completion of their collaborative project to improve the Erie Canalway Trail underpass at Whitbeck Road. A celebratory event, including a ribbon cutting for the underpass and a dedication ceremony for the newly named Harder Canal Park was held on November 6. Members of the Harder family were also honored and recognized for their years of commitment to the Town of Arcadia and Wayne County.
“Due to the successful reestablishment of the Erie Canalway Trail underpass, more than three-quarters of the trail, connecting Buffalo to Albany, is now connected and complete,” said New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton. “This is a significant improvement to the operation of our entire Canalway Trail system. I am honored to recognize the efforts of both the Canal Corporation and the Town of Arcadia who have helped improve the surroundings of the waterway that has been essential to the growth of New York and our nation.”
“I commend the Canal Corporation for collaborating with us to improve the Erie Canalway Trail,” said Town of Arcadia Supervisor Richard Colacino. “This successful partnership represents the positive results that can be achieved when local and state government work together to better a community. It is an honor to name the new “Harder Canal Park” after a family who has been dedicated to our community for generations and continues to play an integral role in both the operations and enhancements of Arcadia and Wayne County.”
The Canalway Trail underpass at Whitbeck Road was previously closed prior to the completion of work, requiring trail users to cross Whitbeck Road at street level. LU Engineers provided assistance by designing the new underpass to ensure the safety of all trail users. Dolomite products also donated stone and asphalt for a portion of the project.
The new canal park was named “Harder Canal Park” by the Arcadia Town Board to recognize former highway superintendents David Harder and his son, Ken Harder, for the vital roles that both men played in the Town of Arcadia and throughout Wayne County. The town will install signage displaying the new park’s name.
The hard work of the Town of Arcadia and the New York State Canal Corporation has resulted in a final product that will allow millions of visitors to enjoy the history and recreation activities along the New York State Canal system. This project is also an example of the Canal Corporation’s long-term goal of closing all of the gaps along the trail. Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, the New York State Canal Corporation has proactively moved forward to plan, begin and complete projects for over 20 new miles of the Canalway Trail across New York.