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New York Governor Announces Opening of Albany Skyway, Public Process for Livingston Avenue Bridge Replacement to Begin

Albany Skyway
Albany Skyway
ALBANY, NY — Governor Kathy Hochul announces the opening of the Albany Skyway, a new elevated park reconnecting downtown Albany to the Hudson River waterfront. The Skyway converted what had been an underutilized exit ramp from northbound Interstate 787 into an urban oasis that provides access to the Corning Riverfront Park and the Mohawk Hudson Hike Bike Trail — which is part of the Empire State Trail — boosting recreational opportunities and furthering tourism and economic activity in the Capital Region. The New York State Department of Transportation oversaw the project and, working in partnership with the City of Albany, took the lead in constructing the Skyway. The City of Albany will maintain the Skyway.

"The completion of the Albany Skyway is a game-changer for the city and the perfect example of a transformative infrastructure project that promotes equity and connectivity," Hochul said. "Infrastructure can be more than just building roads and bridges — like the Skyway, it can be about improving quality of life and righting the wrongs of the past. With this ribbon-cutting we are reuniting divided communities, revitalizing Albany's beautiful waterfront, and recommitting to a transformative vision that is a skyway for the future of infrastructure in New York."

Hochul also announced that the public process for the replacement of the Livingston Avenue Railroad Bridge, led by the New York State Department of Transportation, will continue in June with a formal public hearing taking place. The bridge provides a critical link for passenger rail service from the Northeast Corridor to Albany-Rensselaer. The new, $32.8-billion DOT capital plan includes up to $400 million to replace the existing, Civil War-era bridge with a new, modern structure capable of supporting higher-speed passenger rail, freight rail, maritime transport, and bicycle-pedestrian access.

Albany Skyway
The Skyway project permanently closed the underused Clinton Avenue ramp, which travels underneath Interstate 787 and links Quay Street near the Corning Preserve to Broadway and Clinton Avenue at Quackenbush Square. The ramp was repurposed as a landscaped, multi-use park for pedestrians and bicyclists that will provide non-motorized access to the Hudson River and the Corning Riverfront Park from downtown Albany and such neighborhoods as Arbor Hill, Sheridan Hollow, and the Warehouse District. The approximately half-mile-long Skyway is fully accessible and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Skyway also features pedestrian lighting, seating and planters along the path and a shade structure near the Broadway entrance. Amphitheater-style seating provides a restful setting with a view of the Hudson River. The Skyway builds on the success of New York State's landmark Empire State Trail, which is the nation's longest multi-use state trail.

Livingston Avenue Bridge
The Livingston Avenue Passenger Rail Bridge project will replace the Civil War-era passenger rail bridge built over the Hudson River in 1865, which currently connects Rensselaer and Albany by rail and provides a critical path for passenger rail service from New York City to Western New York. Deterioration of the current structure, owned by CSX and leased to Amtrak, limits trains crossing to one at a time at speeds of 15 MPH. The new bridge will accommodate improved passenger service.

The current movable swing bridge would be replaced with a new lift-type bridge, which would bring the structure up to modern standards for height, width, and speeds for passenger and freight trains and more reliably accommodate marine traffic using the Hudson River. The new bridge will be located south of the existing bridge on a parallel alignment and would carry two railroad tracks. The approach track work will include improvements to the triangular junction of rail tracks on the Rensselaer side to facilitate train turning movements and the rehabilitation and reconfiguration of the rail bridges over Water and Centre Streets on the Albany side. The new bridge will also include a separated shared use path connecting to the Albany Skyway and Empire State Trail to the City of Rensselaer.