NEWARK — “Everything is going according to plan.” That’s the word from Arcadia Highway Superintendent Dave Harder on the Erie Canalway trail that will complete the connection between Palmyra and Lyons.
Highway crews in recent weeks have been finishing the 6-foot wide roadside trail portion that runs down both sides of the street on VanBuren Street and then Old Lyons Road starting at Clinton Street in the village to Zurich Road in the town. They still have to seal the road portion of the trail, add striping and signage, Harder said.
On Monday, crews milled the road at the VanBuren Street bridge approaches, Harder said, so they can incorporate the trail right into the bridge. Harder said it’s above and beyond what they need to do, but the cost is minimal, and since the bridge’s surface will need to work done in the near future, it will save them time and money later.
The trail — which is running next to the canal through the “wilderness,” Harder said — and the kiosks are complete.
The project began in May 2012 as Arcadia Town Highway crews began on Old Lyons Road near Zurich Road clearing trees and heavy brush along the canal to County House Road. The town of Lyons has provided equipment to help clear the brush and build the benches and a kiosk at Lock 28. The state Canal Corporation came in with a barge to remove the trees and brush using a large crane.
The trail project through Wayne County started back in 1988 when Lyons resident Mark DeCracker presented a proposal to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan. By the late 1990s, trails began to be built in different sections across the state. Locally, the trail was first installed from Fairport to Palmyra, then Palmyra to Newark — but it ended at the East Avenue bridge. Maps along the canal trail show the trail continuing, but the project was never completed because grant funding fell through. In 2008, Arcadia Supervisor Dick Colacino said the town was notified grant money was again available. With help from state Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton, Colacino was able to jump start the stalled process in applying for the appropriate permits, and officials broke ground in spring 2012.
Getting the trail done has been a group effort by highway superintendents from across the county. Trucks from Macedon, Walworth, Sodus, Palmyra, Newark, Arcadia and Lyons have been helping.
“We got so much help from the other municipalities to get this done,” Harder said. “Highway superintendents work together like a band of brothers. Wayne County has a reputation as one of the best town associations — we work together.”
He sent out special thanks to his highway crew members and the village’s and town of Lyons crews as well.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for Oct. 3.