FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2023
Mayor Noble Applies for $22 Million RAISE Grant for Major Kingston Waterfront Improvements
KINGSTON, NY – Mayor Steven T. Noble and the Office of Grants Management are pleased to announce that the City of Kingston has applied for a $22 million RAISE Discretionary Grant from the Federal government to enhance and protect the Kingston Waterfront.
The Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program provides funding for road, rail, transit, and port projects that have significant local or regional impact. Congress has dedicated nearly $12.1 billion for fourteen rounds of National Infrastructure Investments, and NY Senator Chuck Schumer and Congressman Pat Ryan have put his support behind Kingston in this effort.
The City of Kingston’s Raise application included several projects that total $27 million in investments to the infrastructure at the Rondout Creek to create a safer transportation network in Kingston’s Waterfront. New sidewalk and bicycle paths will provide connections to and from the historic business districts, will complete branches of the Kingston Greenline and the Empire State Trail (EST), and will connect to the 520-acre Sojourner Truth State Park. The project will also address current and anticipated tidal flooding from the Rondout Creek and Hudson River by elevating roadway corridors where flooding threatens to damage infrastructure and prevent access to one of the City’s most frequented public parks.
“This project will elevate roadways in two flood prone areas, East Strand and Delaware Avenue, and develop walking and biking access throughout the Rondout Creek and Hudson River Waterfront areas. The proposed projects not only improve safety and access to our incredibly beautiful and unique park spaces, but the project also plans ahead for climate and sea level change. We think this vital initiative will enhance the quality of life for residents in many ways – from increasing safety for pedestrians and cyclists, to accessing nature, and breathing better air,” said Mayor Noble. “In particular, the improvements will help the Ponckhockie residents and local businesses. This project, paired with our new zoning code, will also allow for smart development in the neighborhood and make sure that any new building is pedestrian focused.”
Lisa Cline, Executive Director of the Hudson River Maritime Museum said, “The Hudson River Maritime Museum is pleased that the City is focusing attention and investment on the Rondout waterfront neighborhood, which is so rich in local maritime and industrial history. Our Museum has been operating for over forty years in the Rondout district, telling the River’s story and drawing thousands of visitors every year, both national and international. We feel that this is a great investment in one of the City's most interesting communities which is being threatened by flooding more frequently every year.”
The projects submitted in the RAISE grant application are part of the City of Kingston’s Weaving the Waterfront initiative, and include five major components that will complete vital connections between Kingston’s neighborhoods and natural landscapes and upgrade with ADA-accessible infrastructure. The five components included in the RAISE grant application include:
1. Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 2
Phase 2 will include paving a 10-to-12-foot-wide ADA-compliant path for pedestrians and bicyclists. The new path will begin where Phase 1 ends at Garraghan Drive and traverse over an old bridge, pass behind the Trolley Museum, and end at a small trailhead on East Strand Street. Phase 2 includes fencing, interpretation of historical places, and the construction of a small building to exhibit 9/11 artifacts in the Museum’s collection. Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 2 designs are complete. Grant to be used for construction.
2. East Strand and North Street Complete Streets
The project’s second component includes the development of ADA-compliant sidewalks, a multi-use path or bike lanes, Complete Streets amenities, and flood resilience measures for 1.2 miles along the roads parallel to the Rondout Creek -- Rondout Landing, East Strand Street and North Street. Complete Streets will be implemented from the end of Broadway in the Waterfront Business District to the intersection of North Street and Delaware Avenue near Kingston Point Park. Green infrastructure and a canopy of urban street trees on Rondout Landing and East Strand will provide shade, stormwater capture, and species biodiversity. Two sections of East Strand that experience flooding during spring tides will be raised and rebuilt. Grant to be used for preliminary design, final design and construction.
3. Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 3 – Trolley Trail
This component begins at the intersection of East Strand and North Streets, traveling east along the Trolley Trail causeway currently enjoyed by pedestrians and seasonal trolley tour patrons. An elevated 10-foot-wide, 0.72-mile climate-resilient boardwalk is proposed along the causeway adjacent to the trolley tracks. The boardwalk will traverse the length of the causeway before turning north to provide an accessible route up through Rotary Park, where the trolley route ends at a replica trolley station at the mouth of Rondout Creek.
Shoreline stabilization of the causeway, utilizing living shoreline approaches, and historic/archaeological mitigation will be required to enhance biodiversity and protect the rich pre-historic legacy of the area. Designs are complete. Grant to be used for construction.
4. Rotary Park & Kingston Point Park Pedestrian Connections/ Raising of Delaware Avenue
This component will complete the Empire State Trail/Hudson River Brickyards Trail connections through Rotary Park and Kingston Point Park with a safe, accessible path. A new network of sidewalks and multi-use paths along Delaware Avenue will create a linear connection that fills a critical in the Empire State Trail.
Delaware Avenue between North Street and Rotary Park will be raised to address flooding, which will provide at least 30 years of access to the parks. Complete Streets will also be implemented to improve pedestrian and bicycle access and ADA-compliance. Grant funds to be used for design and construction.
5. North Street Complete Streets
North of Delaware Avenue, Complete Streets will extend along North Street. Adjacent to the Hutton Brickyards, a 10-to-12-foot paved pathway will connect to the Hudson River Brickyard Trail, completing the Empire State Trail/Kingston Greenline. This path will provide multi-modal access to the Sojourner Truth State Park. Grant funds will be used for design and construction.
Three new electrical vehicle charging stations will be installed at key locations, adding to an expanding citywide network of stations.
In addition to the proposed Weaving the Waterfront projects, there has been over $58 million in recent investments in the Waterfront area, including:
- Wurts Street Bridge, one of the only steel-suspension bridges left in Upstate New York, and in Empire State Trail street signs and bicycle sharrows along the Waterfront (NYS DOT: $50 million)
- Waterfront shoreline stabilization planning and design; $780,000 into the Hudson River Brickyard Trail and $654,500 for Kingston Point Park Improvements Phase 2 (NYS DOS: $260,000)
- Kingston Point Rail Trail Phase 1; $300,000 into Kingston Point Park Improvements Phase 1; and into planning for the Sojourner Truth State Park (NYS OPRHP: $1.1 million)
- ADA improvements at Kingston Point Park; preliminary design for Climate Adaptive Redesign of Kingston Point Beach; a new accessible fishing dock on the Rondout Creek; the Sea Level Rise Implementation Learning Group and Resilience Task Force; a Natural Resources Inventory; and Open Space Plan for the City of Kingston (NYS DEC: $300,000)
- Community Preservation Plan creation and construction of a public kayak launch system/dock with full handicapped accessibility on the Rondout Creek (EPF: $100,000)
- Kingston Lighthouse restoration and TR Gallo Park on the Rondout Creek (FEMA: $1 million)
- Shoreline stabilization study (Army Corps of Engineers: $100,000)
The RAISE grants will be announced no later than June 28, 2023.