Yonkers has been awarded a near $3.5 million grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to construct a gateway connecting Westchester to Manhattan through a new link in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano announced Friday that the city has been awarded a $3.3 million Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant from the DOT to construct the Yonkers Greenway, which will involve the conversion of an abandoned spur of the Old Putnam Railroad into a 2.2-mile trail.
The Yonkers Greenway will be built in phases to connect Van Cortlandt Park at the Bronx border with the Yonkers rail station serving the Metro-North Hudson Line and Amtrak, twenty Westchester Bee-Line routes and the MTA express commuter bus, Spano said.
The Greenway’s first phase will begin a half-mile from the Caryl Avenue parking lot north of Lawrence Street, where there are plans to construct a state-of-the-art playground adjacent to the trail at Wolff Street. That project is scheduled to begin later this year.
Spano said that the project also includes community gardens, where residents can grow their own fresh produce. The TAP grant will also allow for city officials to continue designing and constructing the second and third phase of the Greenway proposal, which will lead into the downtown waterfront area, eventually connecting the Saw Mill River Daylighting project and ending at the Yonkers train station.
In total, the Greenway’s three phases are expected to cost approximately $5.1 million, including $800,000 funded by the city.
“I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation for this much-needed grant so residents and visitors can experience a continuous green path through our revitalized city,” Spano said when announcing the grant. “By increasing access for pedestrians to a safe, flat trail to commute to work, school and shops, we can stimulate more economic and community revitalization throughout the neighborhoods it passes through and support a greener Yonkers.”
For three years, Spano said that Yonkers has been collaborating with the environmental group Groundwork Hudson Valley, on the planning of the Greenway, which has helped secure nearly $1 million in funding for project design, development and community engagement.
“Groundwork Hudson Valley, the City of Yonkers, and our early supporters shared a common vision to re-green and revitalize the city we call home through the development of the Yonkers Greenway,” Groundwork Hudson Valley Executive Director Brigitte Griswold said. “This grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program provides the kind of transformative support we need to make this vision a reality for city residents and future generations to come,”