By Kassie Parisi
CLIFTON PARK/HALFMOON— The long awaited walkway connecting Clifton Park to Halfmoon has been completed.
A ribbon cutting ceremony took place at the border of the two towns on June 15 to commemorate the official opening of the Crescent Road trail, a mile-long trail that connects to two towns on Crescent Road, near Exit 8 of the Northway.
The path — mostly asphalt with some concrete sidewalks, is around eight to 10 feet wide, depending on the location.
It is part of an expansive trail system in town that connects neighborhoods and parks, and it runs from Okte Elementary School to Dunsbach Road in Halfmoon. Its construction with a joint effort of both towns.
“Both towns worked very hard on this project,” Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said at the June 15 ceremony. He pointed out that the area along Crescent Road is particularly busy, and that the new trail, which is 1.3 miles long, not only adds to the large trail network the town is trying to create, but also allows pedestrians to safely travel near and around the highway.
“These connections are bringing a tremendous amount of value to Clifton Park. This is just another step forward to completing our trail master plan and exponentially increasing our trail network,” Barrett added.
The total budget for the project was $2,547,373. Federal funds made up $2,037,898 of the total, another $314,755 in state funds were used, and the remainder of the cost, — $194,720 —was shared by Clifton Park and Halfmoon.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for not only Clifton Park and Halfmoon to work together, but all towns to work together,” Halfmoon Town Supervisor Kevin Tollisen said.
Shenendehowa Central School District Superintendent Oliver Robinson said that the build up of the trail system plays into the issue the school district specifically focuses on, which is how to provide the best services for students. Shen serves both Clifton Park and Halfmoon, he pointed out. He also noted that even though the towns and school district might technically be separate entities, they all work towards the common goal of making life better for students.
“As individuals we are special, but working together, we are spectacular, and when we do things like this, it shows the power of people coming together with a common focus,” Robinson said.
Pete Bardunias, president and CEO of the Chamber of Southern Saratoga County, said that a better trail network will contribute to more satisfied residents, who will in turn bolster the business sphere in town.
“One of the things that we know, is that if we’re going to have a good, vibrant business community here, we have to have a vibrant quality of life too. They go hand in hand,” he said.
Since 2000, Clifton Park has added 14 new miles of trail to the town. Earlier in the year, Clifton Park was awarded more than $800,000 in state funding to go towards creating new trails as part of a statewide effort to enhance transportation options. That money will be used to extend the Moe Road multi-use path to the newly finished Crescent Road path.
The town will also be submit two more grant applications this summer for future trail projects for which engineering studies are being conducted for now. One will be a trail connection connection between the Dutch Meadows subdivision and Longkill Road, and the other will be on the northern side of Route 146, between the area of Prince of Peace Church, east to Tallow Wood Drive.