Photos provided by Capitalize Albany
A sky-high project is one step closer to breaking ground in Albany.
After months of community discussions and government approvals, Capitalize Albany received the OK to begin the next phase of the Skyway, the elevated linear park that will bring new life to the underutilized I-787 ramp. Once complete, the northbound exit ramp, which runs from Quay Street to Clinton Avenue, will become an ADA compliant walkway, bike route, and park that overlooks the Hudson River waterfront.
“The Skyway thinks about our infrastructure as an opportunity,” explains Sarah Reginelli, president of Capitalize Albany Corporation. “The amenity will serve as a regional attraction and spur additional growth. Beyond even this, the project takes back a portion of I-787 improving walkability and bikeability as well as enhancing sustainability.”
Thanks to the completed feasibility study by the project’s engineering, design, and economic analyst team, which was funded in part by Capitalize Albany and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, work can begin to decommission the ramp and support baseline requirements relating to converting the underutilized infrastructure. The endeavor receives support from Governor Cuomo’s $3.1 million allocation of Department of Transportation funds, and the City of Albany continues to look into additional funds to maximize development.
If all goes to plan, construction will begin in spring of 2020, with an estimated completion and opening in fall 2020.
“The Skyway will serve as a recreational resource and a key component in connecting the Downtown, Sheridan Hollow, and Arbor Hill neighborhoods, and the Warehouse District to the Hudson River Waterfront,” notes Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “It’s a crucial time to make strategic investments at this City gateway by creating a welcoming destination.”
Like the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie, the Skyway in Albany has the potential to bridge the region’s micro-communities and provide a free space for public recreation. Additionally, the proposed project comes with a sustainable perk. Upon completion, the elevated park space will function similarly to a green roof by absorbing, filtering, and diverting storm runoff that could otherwise enter city sewers.
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