Tonawanda Rails to Trails
An abandoned Buffalo-Niagara Falls railroad bed lay dormant for years until Erie County secured federal funding to turn the property into a multi-use trail. C&S developed the concept into a complete design and a fully realized construction. The first phase received a Platinum ACEC Engineering Excellence Award. The four-mile, paved, shared use trail provides a dedicated path for pedestrians and bicyclists and connects the cities of Buffalo and Tonawanda with residential neighborhoods that lie between. These intermediate points are accommodated by landscaped Access Points that connect side streets with the main trail via paved ramps. Safe crossing of busy Sheridan Avenue is ensured by installation of the state’s first HAWK (high intensity activated crosswalk) signal. Two other street crossing are protected by RRFB (rectangular rapid flashing beacon) technology. Street furniture, wayfinding signs, and plantings are other amenities and enhancements that provide an engaging feel to the trail experience. The success of the project has led to a C&S-designed phase II extension continuing north to a connection with the Erie Canal trail system.