Ellicott Trail ought to be open just in time for summer
The long-anticipated Ellicott Trail was supposed to be finished by Thanksgiving, but it's now Valentine's Day and still no dice. Why? One word: WEATHER.
"The Ellicott Trail is about 70 percent complete," said Thomas Lichtenthal Jr., Town of Batavia highway superintendent and assistant engineer. "We plan on completing it by June this year and open it to the public. We had some weather delays in the fall last year that didn't allow us to complete it."
Only four months to go, which will mark to the month when actual construction began three years prior.
The $1.7-million project is funded mainly with state Department of Transportation grant money. It's a joint venture by the City of Batavia and the Town of Batavia, with each contributing 10 percent of funding. The town is the lead agency.
A new bridge on Walnut Street was paid for with a $250,000 Municipal Facility Grant, and Genesee County Parks Department capital project funds will pay for a boardwalk at DeWitt Receation Area.
The trail itself is 4.6 miles long, but from end to end it's nine miles if you include sidewalks and bridges. It goes from Seven Springs Road to Pearl Street Road (Route 33).
Once open, during daylight hours only, signs will point the way for pedestrians and bicyclists. Motor vehicles will not be allowed on the trail, except for those of first responders -- firefighters, medics and law enforcement. City police will have bike patrols in spring and summer.
The off-road sections have been the most labor-intensive because of culverts, dilapidated railroad beds, trees and other vegetation and the removal of them.
Ellicott Trail will provide an alternative for physical exercise, the enjoyment of nature, and traversing the city and its businesses. Enthusiasts tout this kind of amenity as one that is increasingly attractive to urbanites, especially Millennials.
(Top: File image of the winning entry in the Ellicott Trail logo contest, unveiled in February 2017. It was created by Jayme Privitera, a professional graphic designer.)