The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo has announced US$5 million in funding support for the construction of a new pedestrian and bicycle path along Route 9A from West 57th Street to West 59th in Manhattan, enhancing safety and access while contributing to the creation of a seamless link in the Empire State Trail between Pier 97 and Riverside Park to Hudson River Park Trust. The new section of the path will be built on piles over the Hudson River. The project is funded by the federal Transportation Alternatives Program, administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, which supports the construction of new, multi-use bicycle and pedestrian facilities, new Americans with Disabilities Act accessible sidewalks, improved access to public transportation, and enhanced roadway safety.
The project was selected through a competitive solicitation process and will include the construction of a full-width pedestrian pathway and improve the Route 9A bikeway and related buffer lanes between West 57th Street and West 59th, where the Hudson River Greenway connects to Hudson River Park and Riverside Park South. The new section of the path, which will be compliant with the ADA, will facilitate the transition of these three park entities to the recently completed Empire State Trail. It also will help provide access to public ferry services in Midtown Manhattan and enhance access to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Columbus Circle, and other cultural venues and tourist attractions.
The pedestrian and bikeway improvements will provide an alternative transportation option to commuters and visitors to the Hudson River Park and surrounding areas, while significantly enhancing safety by reducing the potential for conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians. The new pathway will provide critical square footage enabling separate pedestrian and bicycle use. The width of the new path will vary from the existing 14 feet to 40 feet in some sections.