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Officials Reopen Kensico Dam Road to Pedestrians

Walkway open to public after seven years of restoration, millions in repairs

After years of restoration and homeland security measures, Westchester residents can once again stroll across the Kensico Dam—a 300-foot-high walkway that overlooks the Kensico Reservoir on one side and a sprawling portion of the county on the other.

Westchester lawmakers held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning, opening the third-of-a-mile path to foot traffic and bicycles for the first time since 2005.

"Today is a homecoming," said Rob Astorino, Westchester's county executive. "The dam is in many ways a symbol of our county."

The dam was shut to the public for extensive repairs beginning seven years ago, an undertaking that took longer than expected and entailed a price tag of about $42 million.

Repairs included interior maintenance, landscaping, extensive cleaning and the installation of a new fence, said Chris Gilbride, an employee with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).

Prior to the repairs, the September 11 attacks had shuttered the walkway for a period of time. A memorial now stands in the dam's plaza.

Astorino was joined by senator Greg Ball (R-Carmel), NYCDEP commissioner Carter Strickland and a handful of other legislators.

The Kensico Reservoir supplies water to New York City, and is property of NYCDEP. The dam's plaza is a Westchester County Park.

Helen May 24, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Open it next to car traffic - alleviate the heavy traffic in the village.
Anthony Giorgianni May 25, 2012 at 08:36 PM
How about opening the Cross River dam next? Many folks walk it anyway, but I just saw a Patch story (http://bedford.patch.com/articles/mta-official-restrained-from-crossing-reservoir-dam) about an MTA chap who got into trouble for biking it.

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