Brainstorming begins on Albany Skyway

March 09, 2018 05:40 AM

ALBANY - What the people who gathered inside the Albany Heritage Visitors Center on Thursday night all have in common is that they all see a bright future for downtown Albany.

The ideas that they come up with, and the input they provide will determine the look of the Albany Skyway Project.

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"It is absolutely a cool project," says Sarah Reginelli, President of Capitalize Albany Corporation, the city's economic development arm that will oversee preliminary planning and design of the Skyway Project.

"We're excited about being involved with it. It can be a real game changer not only for downtown Albany for for the Capital Region."

Jonathon Brust, a Lark Street business owner, was one of several dozen city residents at the Albany Heritage Visitors Center Thursday night who were brainstorming details of the Skyway which will transform the underutilized Clinton Avenue ramp off northbound Interstate 787 into an elevated linear park.

The idea is to create more recreational space for pedestrians and cyclists, not to mention a new access to the Corning Riverfront Park on the Hudson River waterfront.

"We have to be aware of the one thing we're not going to get more of is green space," Brust states, "The first thing that goes away. If we can get it back then we should take that opportunity."

"I see a lot more community engagement and togetherness and I just see an improvement in Albany all together," said Eva Bass, another Albany resident in on the planning.

"It's one of those project that people really get behind," Reginelli adds, "and it shows people in Albany are creative and ready for growth and looking to take on an exciting new challenge."

When New York City took on a similar challenge, the result was High Line Park in Manhattan.

"I wanted to have an example of that here in Albany," said Mayor Kathy Sheehan, "We've got new residential units, the Palace Theater is seeking to expand and so can this be another part of that entertainment district created here?"

Earlier this week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $3.1 million in funding for the Albany Skyway. If things go as planned, construction will begin in the fall of 2019, with a completion date in late 2020.



Dan Levy

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