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Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting with other dignitaries on Friday, May 13th to celebrate the extension of the Heritage Trail. The addition extends the Trail one mile from Palmer Avenue in the City of Middletown to East Main Street, with an entry point adjacent to The Switch Inn.
“The expansion of the Heritage Trail into Middletown is a project that has been discussed for more than 20 years and we are excited to have brought it to fruition,” Neuhaus said. “I am especially proud of the Orange County DPW and Parks departments for their hard work and effort to complete the project. This is a great benefit for the City of Middletown and all of Orange County. Residents and visitors will continue to utilize and enjoy this extension for years to come.”
Repurposed Tappan Zee Bridge panels were used for the aerial crossing of the new segment of the trail over Genung Street and Sprague Avenue. In 2018, Orange County became the first county in New York State to receive panels salvaged from the dismantled Tappan Zee Bridge to use for repurposing, which saved taxpayers approximately $770,000.
The next phase of construction will extend the Heritage Trail 2.5 miles from East Main Street to Ingrassia Road in the Town of Wallkill. The total cost for extending the Heritage Trail from Goshen through Middletown will be approximately $8.4 million, with funding for the project coming from a combination of New York State Parks grants ($500,000), Federal Transportation grants ($6.7 million), and Orange County funding ($1.2 million).
“We are so glad to see that the Heritage Trail has been extended into the heart of the City of Middletown,” Mayor Joe DeStefano said. “This has been talked about for more than two decades, and the vision and leadership of County Executive Neuhaus have gotten it done. This is a proud moment for Middletown and we are grateful for the continued progress on this wonderful project.”
The Heritage Trail now runs approximately 19.5 miles from Harriman to East Main Street in Middletown with roughly 500,000 people using it each year for running, biking, hiking, and environmental and natural studies. It has access points in Monroe, Chester, Harriman, Wawayanda, and Goshen, with other access points to be added. The trail features historic landmarks, scenic views, a bird/wildlife sanctuary, and access to dining and shopping in the municipalities through which it runs.
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.