The future of the trail around Onondaga Lake is taking shape. Onondaga County Lawmakers are considering how the last piece of that path will be built. Legislature Chair Ryan McMahon says it hinges on a re-building of Onondaga Lake Parkway.
“The discussion today led more into the last phase of what the lake trail would look like. The state owns the road, and they’re looking at improving the road that would incorporate that phase, so we’re kind of waiting to see what they’re going to do before we make our final plan to connect the trail from Murphy’s Island to out Onondaga Lake Park.”
Lawmakers will have to approve one-point-five million dollars for design and engineering for that last stretch of trial. The next phase to be built will connect from near the Fairgrounds to the Onondaga Creek-Walk. McMahon says that stretch is already paid for, with construction beginning soon. Some legislators are concerned that the trail passes contaminated industrial sites. County Environment manager Travis Glazer says capping and other restrictions will be adequate protection.
“I can say with great confidence that there are no potential threats to human health for recreators on that trail, without a doubt, and anybody who says otherwise doesn’t have the facts to back it up.”
The west-side trail and pathway through Onondaga Lake Park are popular. McMahon says finishing the entire loop is even more beneficial.
“The public gets access to Onondaga Lake in a way that generations before us have not had access. It’s one of the most popular things that we’ve done since I’ve been at the legislature, and it helps promote a revitalization, a rebirth, of the lake. It’s something that, when you look at destination-type tourism, many folks look for trail, look for different things to do.”
The legislature meets next week to consider funding the final phase of the Loop-the-Lake Trail.