Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is far from finished. Much more needs to be done before this remarkable park in the sky realizes its full potential. We have identified several key projects that, when finished, will vastly enhance the Walkway by improving visitor comfort, creating new and improved access points, and building compelling new places where visitors can gather and learn. These key projects are summarized below:
Walkway Welcome Center & Pavilion—This dynamic building located at the Walkway's eastern entrance will serve as the primary point of entry for our prestigious park. Preliminary designs are still being developed in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, with single floor and two-story concepts under discussion. As currently envisioned, the Welcome Center would house offices for both the Walkway organization and NYS Parks, along with a gift shop, cultural display and educational space. The building will be surrounded by an attractively landscaped and uniquely paved plaza. This will be the Walkway's signature land location, designed to be a comfortable place for gathering and a memorable place from which to depart.

Purchase CSX Railroad Bed Property to "Close the Gap"—Walkway has made significant headway in its efforts to raise the funds necessary to purchase a 0.8-mile stretch of unused former railway bed that will eventually connect the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park with the Dutchess Rail Trail, which currently ends at Morgan Lake in the City of Poughkeepsie. Dubbed "The Gap" by those anxious to see the two recreational amenities joined, purchasing this key parcel from CSX Railroad Company is critical to realizing the full potential of the Walkway and a series of evolving rail trail networks that will eventually extend for more than 27 miles throughout Dutchess and Ulster counties.

Western Entrance Improvements—The Walkway Friends hope to upgrade the park's western entranceway, providing more inviting amenities and landscaping that takes advantage of that area's pleasant rural surroundings. We envision a new paved pathway that allows pedestrians to circumvent the small parking lot that currently serves as the main western entrance along with terraced, earthen "amphitheater" seating under the trees. Also more attractive pavers, landscaping, an outdoor children's play area and plantings would dramatically enhance the visitor experience at this key Ulster County point of entry.

Waterfront Elevator—Construction of a new high-speed, 21-story elevator will begin in 2012. This important new feature is designed to accommodate visitors wishing to access the Walkway from the City of Poughkeepsie's waterfront and the Poughkeepsie Train Station. When completed in the spring of 2013, the elevator will become a high-profile access point to the Walkway, in many ways becoming a destination unto itself and expanding the park's potential to attract many more out-of-town visitors.

Washington Street Stairway Entrance—The Walkway organization is working with New York State Parks' personnel, city officials and community partners to upgrade the appearance of its new stairway entrance along Washington Street in the City of Poughkeepsie. This stairway, funded by a grant from the Empire State Development Corporation, was opened in August, 2010 and has already proven a popular entryway for the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park, establishing a positive link to the city's North Side business district. However, the entranceway's surroundings along Washington Street are in dire need of aesthetic improvements. Street level upgrades are planned including pavement and sidewalk improvements, a retaining wall with benches, and landscaping.

Virtual Tour of the Walkway—The Walkway organization is collaborating with the Children's Media Project (CMP) of Poughkeepsie and IBM to develop an exciting new "virtual tour" of the Walkway. Visitors will be able to download an "app" to their smart phones that interacts with signals at several stations placed along the bridge to activate exciting, educational, and entertaining virtual imagery.

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