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Construction Begins On Walkway Elevator

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POUGHKEEPSIE – A 21-story elevator is going to take visitors to the Walkway Over the Hudson from the Poughkeepsie side of the linear park later this year.

Public officials, Walkway representatives and volunteers ceremonially broke ground for the $2.4 million facility.

Walkway Executive Director Elizabeth Waldstein-Hart said they are elated to be adding yet another asset to the Walkway State Park.

“It means that seniors, the handicapped, and those who just have limited mobility for whatever reasons will have more direct access to the waterfront,” Waldstein-Hart said.  “That was one of the primary goals in funding and constructing the elevator was to give more access to the Walkway, but also to allow the 500,000 people a year who use the Walkway a chance to come down and start enjoying the Hudson River.”

Of the total cost, $2.4 million will be funded by the New York State Department of Transportation while an additional $400,000 in grant money has been awarded to the Walkway via the Environmental Protection Fund to help complete construction, she explained.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said this project in particular will do a lot to expand the reach of the Walkway and the Walkway, in turn, is going to continue to help local communities expand around it.

“For us it really creates an attraction, an amenity, countywide that grows the economy, grows jobs, and gives us a real opportunity to celebrate the great landscapes and environmental features of Dutchess County as a whole,” Molinaro said.

State Senator Terry Gipson said the Walkway is much more than just a local attraction.

“This is one of the real assets that we have here in the Hudson Valley and, as a region; we have to all work together, on both sides of the river, this is a beneficial project to five or six counties in this beautiful area,” Gipson said.