TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga has been awarded federal stimulus money to finish the LaChute River trail system.
Supervisor Bob Dedrick announced a $325,000 grant during the April 9 town board meeting.
"This is wonderful news," Dedrick said. "It's a 100 percent grant; there are no local funds involved at all."
The money comes from the federal American Recovery and Investment Act through the New York State Department of Transportation Enhancement Program, explained Sharon Reynolds, executive director of PRIDE of Ticonderoga. PRIDE applied for the grant on behalf of the town.
A pedestrian pathway now leads from Bicentennial Park through downtown Ticonderoga and partially up Lake George Avenue along the LaChute River.
The stimulus money will be used to extend the paved path to the Ticonderoga Middle School, converting an old railroad trestle into a foot bridge.
The money will also allow for improved access to the trail, signage and lighting, Reynolds said.
"This is really exciting," Reynolds said. "Right now the trail is not very visible to people. We want to make more people aware of it and improve the access."
The conversion of the rail trestle into a foot bridge will be done by an outside contractor, Reynolds said, but the rest of the project will be completed by the Ticonderoga highway department, which will be paid for the work from the stimulus grant.
The grant allows three years to complete the project, but Reynolds said it shouldn't take that long.
"The beauty of this is that it's a clear project," she said. "It's all town property, so there are no hoops to jump through. This isn't going to take three years. It really isn't a difficult project."
Reynolds praised Pat Morrison, Ti highway superintendent, for his commitment to the project.
"Pat is passionate about this," she said.
Besides providing a recreational opportunity for the community, the extended LaChute trail will increase safety for many Ticonderoga students, Dedrick and Reynolds noted.