BETHLEHEM — Bethlehem’s portion of the Albany County Rail Trail is now completely paved.
Bethlehem Highway Department crews began paving the town’s final section of the trail on Monday, April 25. Officials expected to complete the project no later than today, May 4.
Four inches of pavement now lies atop what was formerly a rail track, including a leveling course of stone, binder, and topcoat, explained Brent Meredith, Commissioner of the Town of Bethlehem Department of Public Works.
The trail is now paved from the Bethlehem overpass, where the town’s section of the inter-municipal trail begins, down to the Slingerlands portion.
Connection points will be made safer, with new crosswalks added at Adams Street in Delmar and at the Bypass in Slingerlands. Funds from the Delaware Avenue improvement project, which will continue through the summer, will be used to cover the costs for those enhancements.
While officials had hoped to pave the trail out to Voorheesville, Bethlehem Supervisor John Clarkson said that there are currently no plans to do so.
“We thought it was important to get this section paved for town residents to aid bicycle travelers in this heavy use area, where it makes more sense to have it paved,” he said.
The Voorheesville section will remain un-paved, as some residents preferred it to paved trails for cross-country skiing and other activities.
Through shared services, Bethlehem paid for the paving equipment, while Albany County provided highway department workers.
“Through a shared resources agreement with the county, that’s what makes this whole thing work,” said the supervisor, repeating a theme of strength that has been the mantra of officials throughout the Rail Trail’s construction.