One more section of the Greater Jamestown Riverwalk is completed, and the next phase is about to start.
On Tuesday, Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi; state Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-C-Chautauqua County; Greg Edwards, county executive; and Mark Thomas, state Western District parks director, officially opened Phase IV of the Riverwalk which is known as the north shore extension. This part of the Riverwalk includes a blacktop path along the Chadakoin River’s north shore. The path is approximately 1,000 feet long. During the project, decorative lights were installed; a streambank stabilization system using rip-rap rocks upstream of the Warner Dam was constructed; park amenities like benches, picnic tables and trash cans were installed; landscaping including trees and grass installed; and prepared links and departure points for a planned pedestrian bridge crossing have been established. The estimated project cost is around $319,000, with $150,000 coming from a state Environmental Protection Fund grant, $150,000 from the city of Jamestown in labor, materials and equipment and $19,000 from the Gebbie Foundation, which included a donation of land.
Teresi said the project is an example of the state, county and city governments working together to accomplish a project that will benefit all who visit downtown Jamestown.
“It is not about what you do, but how you go about doing it. There is literally nothing we can’t accomplish,” he said. “Great things can be accomplished when people choose to work together. Today is not an end, its a beginning.”
The mayor was referring to future phases of the Riverwalk project, including phase V of the project which officially broke ground Tuesday. The next construction phase of the project is the Chadakoin Park Trail and bike path from McCrea Point Park to Clifton Avenue. The trail will include a blacktop bike and pedestrian path over the former J&W railbed that runs along the Chadakoin River from West Eight Street to Clifton Avenue, near Fluvanna Avenue; additional blacktop trails will lead from the main path to a nature trail and river observation platform; decorative lighting; park amenities like benches, picnic tables and trash cans; and landscaping including trees and grass. The project cost will be $525,162. A state Environmental Protection Fund grant of $262,581 will be matched by the city with labor, materials and equipment.
Teresi said future phases of the Riverwalk include a pedestrian bridge connecting Pizzarelli Park near the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities to the north shore extension. Also, there is a bridge planned around the Warner Dam to add another connection between the north and south shore of the Chadakoin downtown.
Teresi said another phase will develop the Riverwalk along Jones and Gifford Avenue to Celoron Park along Chautauqua Lake. Also, the Riverwalk will continue around the vicinity of the BPU to go toward McCrea Point Park. There is also a project planned to connect the Riverwalk to the Gateway Train Station.
Teresi said funding for future phases has been applied for through state agencies and is pending, with a possible decision by the end of the year.
“Next year at this time, we could be celebrating the connection of downtown Jamestown … to Chautauqua Lake,” he said.
Goodell said his father worked on the Rails to Trails program in the area, and had a map of the possible Riverwalk connecting Jamestown to Chautauqua Lake more than 20 years ago.
“People can walk the path. They can see the tremendous heritage … and the unique assets here in Jamestown,” he said.
Thomas thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo whose help made it possible to complete the projects through the state Environmental Project Fund.
“It’s because the projects get done, and they get done well,” he said about why state officials fund Riverwalk phases.
Edwards said because of projects like the Riverwalk and the Gateway Train Station, similar projects will continue to occur in downtown Jamestown.
“This is a good investment. This is a proven investment, and it will draw more investment,” he said.