JAMESTOWN – A quarter million dollar effort to expand the Jamestown Riverwalk along the north shore of the Chadakoin River got underway Thursday afternoon with an official ground breaking ceremony.
Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi was joined by nearly a dozen other city and community officials to break ground on the latest edition to the city’s Riverwalk area – which will run for nearly 1,000 feet from under the Washington St. Bridge west to an area across from the Panzeralla Park island. The project was made possible by the donation of land and $19,000 in funding from the Gebbie Foundation along with $112,500 in funding from New York state. In addition, the city will provide for the other $112,500 through equipment, supplies and labor.
Teresi commended all who helped to make the project possible, including giving much thanks to the Gebbie Foundation. He added that there would be more work on the Riverwalk Project later this year.
“This is the first of two segments of the Riverwalk that we will be breaking ground on this summer,” Teresi said. ” Probably at a later point in the summer we will reconvene this down in the Chadakoin Park area, where we have again been able to package enough state and local financing to build another segment of the Riverwalk, through Chadakoin Park, basically from Eighth Street all the way out to the city line at Fluvanna Ave.”
Gebbie Foundation Executive Director John Merino said that in addition to the work that will soon be underway, Gebbie is also looking to develop the land that is adjacent the property it has given to the city.
“The idea is to turn it into a park that becomes public access and to build a connector out the back of the Gateway Train Station, over the top of the rail tracks, so that people on 2nd Street can walk right out and gain access to the water front,” Merino said. “Eventually it will be part of a grander waterfront plan, but I think the community will see over the next couple of years all that become a reality. This will be a very nice place for folks in the community to enjoy the outdoors, some community events, family activities and things of that nature, and the train station will be at the core of it.”
Eventually, the Riverwalk near Brooklyn Square will have a bridge connecting the portion on the northern Shore of the Chadakoin River to Panzeralla Park island, and from there to the southern shore of the river.
City Public Works Director Jeff Lehman said this latest expansion project should be completed by mid summer.