A Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS) will now be conducted on the Draft Preferred Master Plan. This process will take a more detailed look at anticipated impacts of the proposed project and identify any needed steps to avoid, reduce, or mitigate those impacts. This can include environmental as well as community impacts, such as parking or trash.
The State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has been designated the Lead Agency for the environmental review. They will be working with the project partners, residents and stakeholders from late 2015 through 2018 to thoroughly understand and evaluate any project impacts.
Our intent is to have a rigorous environmental review process that provides multiple opportunities for community input. Sign up to receive updates so we can contact you directly as meetings are planned!
Spring/Summer 2018 Highlights
Analysis of a trail connection from Dockside to Little Stony Point was requested in the public comment period. Here's what we're doing to work on that:
Village Board and the Mayor of Cold Spring has conducted a survey of residents in the general project area where potential routes could occur.
We've will be conducting an engineering feasibility assessment on all identified routes.
A public workshop will be held for Cold Spring area residents soon. Check here for announcements.
We have conducted biological inventory field work on the route and will present the findings at a public workshop in 2018.
We will be completing the Draft Generic Impact Statement for the trail this summer. There will be a public comment period and public workshop. Check back for updates and announcements.
There are now so many visitors to Breakneck that it's creating a real challenge for the Village of Cold Spring in terms of parking and garbage. Will this be addressed?
Yes! Remember that the Fjord Trail is a project developed to help the Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve and nearby communities better handle the visitor volume. So while obviously we're not causing the problem (the trail doesn't even exist yet!), we want to work on how to address these sorts of use-related stresses. That's why we're working on parking early - and we'll continue to do so.
As for how much more traffic the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail might generate? We'll be looking at that - and identifying solutions for how to manage impacts - through the environmental review process.
If the environmental review has not been completed on the Master Plan, how can you be moving forward with construction?
Great question. We are moving ahead with one section of trail - the Breakneck Connector. This piece of trail connects the Breakneck Ridge Trailhead with the Breakneck Ridge Metro-North train stop. Because of this strong realationship, and the many safety and congestion problems along Route 9D in that area, that trail section has what is called "independent utility" in environmental review circles. Put simply, it means that even if nothing else was ever constructed for the larger project, this section of trail has importance as a stand-alone project.
The project will go through its own environmental review under the Town of Fishkill. See the Breakneck Connector page under "construction updates" for more info.
No other sections of trail will be constructed until we complete the Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Draft Preferred Master Plan. That process is expected to take two years (2016-2017).