Kingston Rail Trail Project - Linking the City of Kingston to the O&W (Hurley) Rail Trail

The Ulster County Department of Planning is advancing preliminary designs of the Kingston Rail Trail (“KRT”) Project, a federally-funded transportation project to design and construct a multi-use trail between the City of Kingston and the existing O&W Rail Trail in Hurley (also known as the Hurley Rail Trail or D&H Canal Heritage Corridor).  The KRT Project, scheduled for construction in 2017, will provide a non-motorized transportation link between the City of Kingston and the Towns of Hurley and Ulster.  The approximately 1.80-mile KRT will link the City of Kingston to the O&W Rail Trail, which currently extends approximately thirteen miles from the Town of Hurley southwest through the Town of Marbletown and into the Town of Rochester.  The Project also supports and advances the vision of Ulster County Executive Mike Hein to connect and expand the County’s rail trail network into a world-class tourism destination and first-class quality of life amenity. 

The County’s engineering consultant, Barton & Loguidice, has been working since spring 2015 in evaluating two alternative routes for the KRT.  Alternative 1 would utilize the former O&W Railroad corridor between the City of Kingston and Town of Hurley.  Alternative 2 would utilize the County-owned Ulster & Delaware (U&D) Railroad corridor and Route 209 right-of-way.  Barton & Loguidice is finalizing its evaluation of both alternatives, including assessing optimal termini at both ends of the KRT, and the County held a Public Information Meeting on December 8, 2015 to discuss findings and recommended the preferred alternative.  The County is now reviewing and assessing comments on the preferred alternative, which can be submitted until December 22, 2015, using the Project Comment Form. The County will then submit the Draft Design Report to the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) recommending Alternative 1 (O & W Route) as the preferred alternative based on estimated construction costs, environmental constraints, and project timeline.

Engineering consultants conduct site visit with U.C. Planning staff and Community Advisory Committee in May 2015

Project Background:

The KRT Project was recommended in Ulster County’s 2008 Non-Motorized Transportation Plan (“NMTP”), which was prepared by the Ulster County Transportation Council.  During the public input and consideration of NMTP goals and projects, the link between the O&W Rail Trail and the City of Kingston was identified as a priority project which served to advance Ulster County’s development of an interconnected, seamless multi-use trail network for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The KRT Project was placed on the County’s Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) in 2010, which scheduled it to received federal transportation funding administered through the NYS DOT Region 8.  The initial funding was not sufficient to cover engineering design costs so the TIP was updated in 2014 as additional funding became available, enabling the Project to advance.  The Ulster County Legislature amended the KRT Project in August 2014 through Resolution No. 291 to authorize scoping of alternatives and preliminary planning to move forward.  The Planning Department created a Community Advisory Committee (“CAC”) composed of representatives from the City of Kingston, Towns of Ulster and Hurley, and local trail organizations, which participated in the competitive selection of an engineering firm.  The County and CAC selected Barton & Loguidice, whose contract was approved by the County Legislature in February 2015 through Resolution No. 72

Starting in April 2015, Barton & Loguidice commenced scoping of the two potential alternative routes.  This work has included mapping, environmental reviews, wetland delineations, site visits, landowner/stakeholder meetings and interviews, and construction cost estimation.  The County and its consultant plan to submit a Draft Design to NYSDOT for review and as noted previously, the O&W Alternative will be recommended over the U&D/Route 209 Alternative. 

For additional information, or to submit comments on the project, please contact Chris White, Deputy Director of Planning at (845) 340-3338 or cwhi[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us