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Governor Hochul Announces $4.2 Million Project to Improve Walking And Bicycling In Saratoga Spa State Park

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Oct 12, 2022 - 03:18 AM

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced construction has begun on a $4.2 million redevelopment of Roosevelt Drive within Saratoga Spa State Park. The project will improve transportation safety within the park by adding pedestrian and bicycling pathways adjacent to the park’s busiest stretch of roadway, which connects the Avenue of the Pines with the golf course, pools, picnic areas, and the Roosevelt Baths and Spa.

“This exciting upgrade will make Saratoga Spa safer, more environmentally friendly and more enjoyable to cyclists, pedestrians, and guests who visit the many cultural venues in its historic setting,” Governor Hochul said. “The $4.2 million project announced today will complement the significant investments we have made to enhance Saratoga Springs’ status as a world-class recreational and tourism destination.”

The roadway will be moved away from the classical arcades, making space for a large circular patio as a welcoming gathering place to kick off exploration of all the park has to offer. Part of the Park of the Arts initiative, the corridor improvements mark another major milestone in the restoration of the National Historic Landmark campus. The project will also create expanded parking to service the Spa Little Theater and the recreational and cultural attractions of the Roosevelt Campus, as well as to provide new EV charging stations.

New stormwater management features will help protect water quality, stabilize water temperature, and improve brook trout habitat in Geyser Creek. These include installing underground stormwater chambers and porous asphalt at the expanded parking lot to filter rainwater and allow it to slowly infiltrate back into the soil, reducing stormwater runoff and sedimentation flowing into Geyser Creek.

State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Empowered by Governor Hochul’s historic investment, the Park of the Arts initiative is transforming features and facilities throughout Saratoga Spa State Park. The Roosevelt Drive project will deliver improved wayfinding, pedestrian safety, and improved stormwater management as we continue to focus on climate resiliency to protect and improve this gem in our state park system for the next 100 years.”

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Saratoga Spa State Park is one of the true gems of the Capital Region and thanks to this boost in federal funds more of its natural beauty and recreation opportunities will be accessible than ever before. These improvements will protect the natural beauty of the park, and make the park more walkable, bikeable, and safer for visitors and families to enjoy. I am proud to help deliver the federal funding to kick off this project and commend Governor Hochul for her strong commitment to preserving our environments and bolstering these economic drivers of Upstate New York.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “I am proud to have worked to secure $1.2 million in funding to build a brighter future for Saratoga Spa State Park. This is a critical investment that will help revitalize the park, drawing additional visitors from across the state and beyond. State parks are one of New York’s greatest treasures, and I will continue fighting for resources to ensure their protection and prosperity for generations to come.”

Representative Paul Tonko said, “Our parks and public lands are local treasures that hold cultural and historic significance for our communities, all while serving as economic drivers for our region. I’m thrilled to celebrate this investment in Saratoga Spa State Park which will enhance pedestrian and cyclist safety and improve water quality for the park and its native wildlife. I’m confident that these improvements will only enhance Saratoga Springs’ reputation as a renowned tourism and entertainment destination.”

State Senator Daphne Jordan said, “The state’s ongoing investment in Saratoga Spa State Park continues paying real dividends for our Saratoga community and entire Capital Region. Saratoga Spa State Park is a beloved resource and a special place to reconnect with nature, rediscover the arts, renew our shared sense of public space, and realize how blessed we are to have this crown jewel of the state park system right in our own backyard. The $4.2 million redevelopment project announced for Roosevelt Drive is the latest in a series of long-term financial commitments New York State has made to Saratoga Spa State Park, affirming the historic, cultural, artistic, and economic importance of this beloved public space. All of our state parks are wonderful places but Saratoga Spa State Park, our Park of the Arts is unique. I commend Governor Kathy Hochul and New York State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid for their recognition and commitment to enhancing Saratoga Spa State Park.”

Assemblymember Carrie Woerner said, “The Park of the Arts initiative is a reinforcing the tremendous asset we have in the Saratoga Spa State Park by nurturing the cultural assets concentrated there. This phase of the project will emphasize that the more typical activities in the park – walking, biking, and gathering together in a spectacular landscape – will not be neglected in the improvements to this venue. I applaud this latest project that will improve the safety and the experience of all who visit.”

Saratoga Springs Mayor Ron Kim said, “I applaud NYS Parks’ efforts to build and rehab pedestrian and cycling opportunities in Spa State Park. This perfectly complements my own efforts in the city as we build toward a complete network of bicycle and walkable alternatives for residents and visitors.”

The Park of the Arts initiative envisions Saratoga Spa State Park as a singular global destination for multi-disciplinary arts presentation, programming and learning through the adaptive reuse of National Historic Landmark structures, set in a spectacular 2,400-acre natural setting. Through collaborations with cultural and educational organizations, recreational enterprises, and private businesses, New York State will create an artistic and cultural tourism destination in a class of its own in one of New York State’s flagship parks.

Funding for the project came from New York Works capital funding as well as $1.2 million from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by more than 78 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

Source: New York State

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