ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Plans for an elevated park connecting downtown Albany to the riverfront are currently under development, but the organization behind the project is looking for feedback from the community on the park’s design.
The Albany Skyway would transform the Clinton Avenue ramp off the northbound side of Interstate 787 into an elevated park giving pedestrians and bicyclists access to the Hudson River. The ramp is currently underused, with only 2,000 vehicles traveling on it every day.
Eva Bass lives in Albany and says she is looking forward to walking and biking at new heights on the Albany Skyway.
“Me and my kids like to takes walks and ride our bikes and things like that, so I think it’s going to be really exciting,” Bass said. “I think this is going to help bring us together and give a lot more things for us to do as far as recreation.”
New York State will be funding $3.1 million for the project and Capitalize Albany is spearheading the initial design. The developers are currently looking for community feedback and held a forum Thursday night at the Heritage Visitor’s Center. Capitalize Albany president Sarah Reginelli explained what they are hoping to learn from the community.
“What makes the skyway a success in their eyes and what different components can we add in that will really be an asset for the whole region,” said Reginelli.
Some suggestions might include housing options, restaurants and new businesses.
“I hope we can get some food trucks down there so we can improve the business district,” suggested Bass.
Not everyone is excited by the plans, especially commuters. Department of Transportation spokesperson Bryan Viggiani wants to reassure drivers as developers are looking for new routes.
“There’s other access points underneath the highway there, and that’s where traffic would get rerouted after they look at the volumes that are currently existing there,” said Viggiani.
Feasibility studies are underway as the project is still in its early stages, but many members of the community can’t wait for it to be done.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it works, and coming down here and enjoying it,” said Albany resident Barbara Kaiser.
Others say they hope the skyway can help put Albany back on the map.
“Just a better Albany. Just really building us and making it more beautiful and demonstrating that we’re able to come together and create a comfortable place for our city,” said Bass.
Construction on the skyway is expected to start in Fall 2019 to be completed by late 2020.
For more information and to give your feedback on the skyway project visit: https://stantec.cnf.io/sessions/gah9/#!/dashboard