Preliminary work has started for the next phase of the rail trail system in the town of Vestal.

Town engineer Vernon Myers said a 3,500-foot expansion of the existing trail is to be built this year.

Bicyclists using the Vestal Rail Trail on January 18, 2024. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Bicyclists using the Vestal Rail Trail on January 18, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The walking and biking path will be extended behind the Town Square Mall from its current trailhead at African Road to the Vestal Road-Sycamore Road intersection. This is the third phase of the trail system.

Myers said town highway department workers have started clearing trees near the intersection ahead of the planned construction of the new trail segment. He said the project is expected to cost about $2.6 million.

Town of Vestal highway department equipment near Vestal and Sycamore roads on January 18, 2024. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Town of Vestal highway department equipment near Vestal and Sycamore roads on January 18, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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A rail trail parking lot will be located at the on the southeast corner of Vestal Road and African Road. The new trail segment will connect with Harold Moore Park, which is located between the Susquehanna River and Vestal Road.

A right-turn lane is to be installed for eastbound traffic on Vestal Road turning onto Sycamore Road.

Some of the trees that have been removed west of Sycamore Road in preparation for the upcoming rail trail extension project. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Some of the trees that have been removed west of Sycamore Road in preparation for the upcoming rail trail extension project. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The town is expected to seek bids for the rail trail extension in the spring with construction planned during the summer. Myers said the construction work is expected to take four or five months to complete.

The first phase of the Vestal Rail Trail was built between North Main Street and African Road. It runs 2.1 miles. The second phase is between Main Street and Castle Gardens Road. That segment is 1.75 miles long.

The property for the initial Rail Trail segment was donated by Newman Development Group. Managing member Marc Newman said the organization donated additional land to the town to make the next phase possible.

A section of the Vestal Rail Trail West under construction on April 14, 2013. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
FLASHBACK: A section of the Vestal Rail Trail West under construction on April 14, 2013. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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