JAMESTOWN – City, county and state officials gathered at the Jamestown Riverwalk on Tuesday afternoon to break ground on the next phase of the project.
Jamestown mayor Sam Teresi was joined by several city officials, along with Chautauqua County executive Vince Horrigan, state Assemblyman Andy Goodell, and representatives from the New York State Department of Transportation to celebrate the start of construction for two pedestrian bridges that will be part of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk Trail project.
In his opening comments, Teresi not only discussed the history of the Riverwalk project, but also of the Chadakoin River itself, and how it was key in the early development of the Jamestown community.
“It gave life to this community and after years of hard times we are harnessing the beauty and the power of this river to give a rebirth to this city,” Teresi said. “There’s a lot of folks that are responsible for this day, which is another major step in the process of delivering on our vision to have this river, that winds its way through our city, give us a new birth of life and to connect us all together.”
Assemblyman Andy Goodell also commented on the Riverwalk Project and why it’s important to have the pedestrian bridges installed, saying the project helps to tie together the various attractions in the city that are being developed in recent years.
“When you tie it in with the incredible progress that’s being made with the train station and the National Comedy Center, you’ll be able to tell your friends and relatives that you were there before there were hordes of people singing the praises of the foresight of the mayor of Jamestown, the city council, the county legislature, and others who had that vision of utilizing our river to really promote this area,” Goodell said.
The total cost of the pedestrian bridge project is $2 million, with 80 percent of the cost being covered by a Transportation Alternatives Program grant from New York State. The remaining cost is covered by the city.
Officials say the two pedestrian Bridges will further connect the residents in the Southside neighborhoods of Jamestown with the commercial areas downtown through pedestrian, bicycle and other non-motor-vehicle forms of transportation.
The two bridges will be placed in the greenspace behind the train station and future site of the National Comedy Center and will span over the Chadakoin River to connect to the Riverwalk Trail, which will eventually loop throughout the City to Chautauqua Lake. One bridge will run parallel to the Washington Street Bridge. The other will connect with Panzarella Park, on the backside of the City’s BPU complex.
The project scope has been completed by the City and lead consultant, Clark Patterson Lee.
Major construction activities are scheduled to be bid in the spring of 2016, with the project being completed by the fall of 2016 or early 2017.