Railroad question delays Tupper Lake trail

TUPPER LAKE – Construction of a portion of this village’s multi-use connector trail is on hold.

Before it can move forward, state Department of Transportation officials need to reach an agreement with the village concerning 1,500 feet of a railroad spur between the train station and the former Oval Wood Dish factory

The spur was once used to connect OWD to the Tupper Lake Junction, through which still passes a railroad between Utica and Lake Placid. That line, owned by the state since the 1970s, is the subject of a controversial debate and will soon see its unit management plan re-evaluated.

The Adirondack Scenic Railroad runs tourist trains between Utica and Big Moose and between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. It hopes to connect those ends and run trains all the way through, including trains through Tupper Lake.

If that happens, the DOT would lay track on the 1,500-foot stretch – those tracks have been removed, although a portion closer to the main line still exists – so trains could turn around there. Tupper Lake village Mayor Paul Maroun said the village has ceased work on that section of trail until the issue is resolved.

“We’re going to try to work out an agreement with them (DOT) where we would continue to do what we had planned for this connector trail, and if the rail comes through, we’ll move the trail 10 feet,” Maroun said.

The trail is part of the Tupper Lake Multi-Use Recreational Trail and Transportation Network Master Plan, unveiled in 2007. Once complete, the trail will link the Junction neighborhood with the Tupper Lake village center and The Wild Center. It will follow roads and an abandoned rail line.

Maroun said he is anxious to complete the trail and hopes the issue is resolved early next week. In the meantime, the village will continue work on other sections of the trail, including making relevant sidewalks at least 5 feet wide and making them handicap accessible at intersections.

“We’ve started the sidewalk portion up on Hosley, and we still have to do Pleasant,” Maroun said.

On Hosley Avenue, work has been done on the sidewalk from Community Bank to L.P. Quinn Elementary School’s entrance. An 8-foot-wide shoulder will serve as a walking path from the school entrance to Museum Drive.

Contact Shaun Kittle at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.