Pedestrian bridge opens in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM – The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook pedestrian bridge connecting the city’s south side to the downtown area across the Mohawk River officially opened today.

The $17.5 million bridge includes scenic overlooks and local artwork.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place today with public officials, including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, U.S. Rep. Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, Montgomery County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort, Mayor Michael J. Villa and others.

The structure is 511 feet long with a 600-foot radius double reverse curvature. Boaters docking at Riverlink Park on the north side of the Erie Canal will be able to walk through the park and cross the bridge to access the Erie Canalway Trail and other stores and businesses on the south side.

The original $16.5 million project was funded under the Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act approved by voters statewide in 2005. For the artistic elements on the overlook, state Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara secured an additional $1 million from available state funds allocated for waterfront projects.

“This majestic scenic overlook is both a means to reach a destination and a destination in itself,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a news release today. “The completion of this project will attract new visitors to the city of Amsterdam, increase regional tourism and help fuel economic growth in the Mohawk Valley.”

More on this story will appear in Thursday’s print and online editions.