Tonawanda News — The Town of Tonawanda Council authorized three easements at Monday night’s board meeting to advance work on the Rails to Trails bike path project.
The Erie County endeavor has been in the works since the 1980s, and would convert old, unused racks into a nearly four-mile long pedestrian and biking path from the City of Buffalo to the Town of Tonawanda and City of Tonawanda.
“The trail comes right off the old Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority rails and has to cross at various streets, so that required an easement from us,” Town Engineer Jim Jones said.
Jones said construction on the project is tentatively set to begin in 2015, but cautioned that the design report may include a more conservative schedule. A lease between the NFTA and the county is being negotiated now, and a subsequent agreement will be made between the county and the town.
Once the trail is complete, the town will assume maintenance of its portion, Jones said.
The project plans detail a 12-foot wide path on the abandoned rail bed starting at Kenmore Avenue, 900 feet west of Englewood Avenue. The trail will then extend northwest to Sheridan Drive.
The second trail segment will then begin approximately 900 feet west at the Belmont Avenue and Sheridan Drive intersection, and continue north along Belmont Avenue. The trail will then meet the rail bed again at Colvin Boulevard.
From Colvin, the trail proceeds north under I-290 and into the City of Tonawanda.