Officials ask Amtrak to maintain community access to Hudson River
Jun 14, 2020 6:00 am
Melanie Lekocevic is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media U.S. Reps. Antonio Delgado, Sean Maloney and Paul Tonko, of the Hudson Valley, have sent a letter to William Flynn, president and chief executive officer of Amtrak, asking that the company preserve community access to the Hudson River while maintaining safety along the tracks. A plan to upgrade fencing around local Amtrak rail crossings to prevent vehicles and pedestrians from crossing the tracks has been in the works for two years. As originally proposed, the project would also block access to portions of the river and the shoreline for hunters, fishermen and other recreational users. Planning for the project has been on hold since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. The Congressmen's letter acknowledged that Amtrak officials have met with local officials, but asked that more be done to address the issues of river access raised by several local communities. “We are interested in seeing a cooperative effort that maintains, and ultimately increases, shoreline access throughout the corridor. And we believe, as Amtrak has done in other parts of the country, that this can be achieved while appropriately managing the level of risk,” they wrote. Amtrak and the state Department of Transportation are still in the planning phases and the cost of the project is still undetermined, but a new timeline for the planning process is in the works. Several towns in Columbia County would see fencing installed if the project moves forward, including Germantown, Hudson and Stockport. Scenic Hudson has also called for access to the river to be maintained Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan said, “Working with Amtrak, we can find common sense, 21st century ways to reduce risk without losing already scarce river access” Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.