A great idea to address safety concerns, or an open invitation for visitors to overrun one of the most popular trails in the Hudson Valley? A newly proposed $50 million project that would help Breakneck Ridge hikers cross Metro-North rails has Dutchess County divided.

The Proposed Project in Cold Spring, NY

The center of the debate is a pedestrian bridge. The goal of the multi-million dollar project would be to allow access to Breakneck Ridge trails from the Fjord trail. The bridge would have its entry point at the Breakneck train station and would cross over both the train tracks and Route 9D. Currently, hikers are required to cross Route 9D to access the trails. While pedestrian safety seems to be the main priority of the project, many local residents expressed their concerns.

Very Crude Artist Rendering (Google)
Very Crude Artist Rendering (Google)

Dutchess County, NY Reacts to Proposed Pedestrian Bridge

The main dissent seems to be that an added pedestrian bridge would encourage more out-of-town visits. "Just NO!", exclaimed a Beacon resident on Facebook. "There are people who won’t be happy til the area from Beacon to Cold Spring [is] as congested as NYC!" Not everyone was as disgusted by the plan, however. "Great idea", offered one man. Another commenter reflected the current dangers of Route 9D, lamenting, "[it's] a mess... people walking sown the center of 9D like they are in the country. Act correct or stay home"

The bridge would be north of the tunnel on 9D (Google)
The bridge would be north of the tunnel on 9D (Google)

Bridge Cost and Location in Fishkill, NY

While the bridge would be accessed at the Breakneck station, it is technically located in the Town of Fishkill. The $50 million project would have costs split between several agencies, including the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Parks Department, and the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail. The bridge would be constructed on the north side of the vehicle tunnel on Route 9D.

(CORRECTION: The original article stated the bridge could be accessed by the Cold Spring Station. It has been updated to reflect corrected information of access by the Breakneck station).

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