Connecting Onondaga Lake to downtown Syracuse: Creekwalk opens

Syracuse Creekwalk / File photo

It's a project that's been talked about for years. Today, city leaders gathered to celebrate the opening of the Syracuse Creekwalk.

It's a 2.6 mile trail that spans from West Jefferson Street in Armory Square to Onondaga Lake Park. It offers a great place to run, walk or bike.

"The Creekwalk is a unique and collaborative project that has the potential to be a transformational recreational, cultural and economic amenity for our city, said Mayor Stephanie Miner.

The Creekwalk includes green infrastructure, incorporating porous asphalt pavement for parking areas, flexible porous pavement, porous concrete pavement and rain gardens. "These green infrastructure elements will help decrease the stormwater runoff that flows into Onondaga Creek and Onondaga Lake," the city said in a news release issued to CNYCentral. "Save the Rain estimates the elements incorporated into the Creekwalk project will capture 254,000 gallons of water annually."

The project cost $10,149,154, and it took a few years to complete. The city of Syracuse invested about $1.3 million in the project. The bulk of the money came from Federal Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Reimbursements.

We first started reporting on the idea of a Creekwalk back in 2008. Back then, city leaders said the trail would be open by the Spring of 2010. But the city had to deal with a number of logistical challenges, including getting permission from CSX to have access under a railroad bridge along the trail. Construction eventually began at the end of 2009, and it was publicly unveiled today.

Mayor Miner and Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney were among those on hand for this morning's unveiling. Members of the F.O.C.U.S. CNY Pathways and Pedals to Possibilities organization were also there to ride their bicycles from Armory Square to Onondaga Lake to mark the opening of the Creekwalk.

Will you use the Creekwalk? Was it a good investment? Would you like to see similar projects emerge? Leave your thoughts below.