In August, the much-anticipated Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook opened in Amsterdam. The pedestrian bridge connects the city’s south side to the downtown area across the Erie Canal and features scenic overlooks and local artwork. The $17.5 million project complements the state’s record $27 billion investment in roads and bridges, primarily in Upstate New York.
“This majestic scenic overlook is both a means to reach a destination and a destination in itself,” Governor Cuomo said. “The completion of this project will attract new visitors to the City of Amsterdam, increase regional tourism and help fuel economic growth in the Mohawk Valley.”
Governor Cuomo first announced construction of the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook in the summer of 2014, and the end result is a park-like environment traversing the Erie Canal, featuring landscaping along its borders, scenic overlooks, benches, and artwork by local artisans. The connection between the city’s south side to downtown allows Erie Canalway Trail users to easily cross the Canal to access the all that the City of Amsterdam has to offer.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul attended the ribbon cutting ceremony today along with Congressman Paul D. Tonko, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort and Mayor Michael J. Villa.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul said, “Governor Cuomo’s unparalleled commitment to revitalizing Upstate New York is a key to transforming the region and this project is a catalyst for development in the City of Amsterdam. Major infrastructure investments like the pedestrian bridge will not only provide benefits for the Mohawk Valley today, but are laying the foundation for future economic growth.”
The structure, 511 feet long with a 600-foot radius double reverse curvature, incorporates artistic elements that showcase the historic City of Amsterdam and creates a space for people to admire the beauty of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River from a unique new perspective. Additionally, boaters docking at Riverlink Park on the north side of the Erie Canal will be able to walk through the park and cross the bridge to access the Erie Canalway Trail and other stores and businesses on the south side.
The original $16.5 million project was funded under the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act approved by voters statewide in 2005. For the artistic elements on the overlook, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara secured an additional $1 million from a pool of available state funds allocated specifically for waterfront projects.
The pedestrian bridge was designed by Ammann and Whitney of New York City with the assistance of Saratoga Associates of Saratoga Springs and MJ Engineering of Clifton Park. Kubricky Construction of Wilton completed the construction and landscaping on the bridge in late August. The New York State Canal Corporation owns the bridge and will be responsible for all capital improvements, while the City of Amsterdam assumes responsibility for general maintenance and upkeep.
Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “The completion of this park over the water creates a destination for mariners and pedestrians alike to take in the incredible views of the Erie Canal. Canalway Trail bikers, walkers, and runners will be able to seamlessly cross over the river and discover what downtown Amsterdam has to offer. I applaud the Governor Cuomo for his dedication to revamping the historic City of Amsterdam for generations to come.”
“This is a great day for Amsterdam and the Mohawk Valley – a great step forward in being able to show everyone why this is a great place to live, work, or visit,” said Mayor of the City of Amsterdam, Michael J. Villa.