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Narrowsburg waterfront revitalization project unveiled; residents mostly express support

The proposed River Walk in Narrowsburg features a much enlarged Veterans Park with a new shelter and extended overlook areas. There is also a linear park with a walkway running from Veterans Park, under the bridge that crosses the Upper Delaware River, and back up to an expanded deck on Main Street. Two sets of ramps and steps would give pedestrians access to the linear park and walkway.

By Fritz Mayer
December 5, 2012

The proposed project meant to revitalize the waterfront in the hamlet is no longer called an esplanade. The project now includes what is called a river walk, which would be created within a “linear park.”

Larry Boudreau, director of land development for the Chazen Companies, which created the proposed design for the project, explained at a public hearing on November 28 that the project is separated into four phases, all of which could be created independently of the others.

Phase one involves the overlook deck on Main Street, which would be expanded from 750 square feet (sq. ft.) to 1,180 sq. ft., primarily by expanding the deck surface out to the curb, rather than ending it at the sidewalk. The railing would be changed to a “transparent rail system,” to allow better visibility. Ramps would be built to allow pedestrians to walk down to a linear park below the deck.

Another phase would involve Veterans Park, which would be expanded from 650 sq. ft. to 1,200 sq. ft., and would have greatly enhanced viewing areas. The gazebo would remain in place and a new 600-sq.-ft. covered structure would be built for public events.

A third phase of the project is the space from the bridge south to the edge of the first commercial building, which is where the linear park and walkway would begin. There would also be ramps from Main Street to the park and a public restroom.

The fourth phase would be the linear park and walkway or river walk behind the four commercial buildings on Main Street.

It was that last phase that most concerned council person-elect Ned Lang, who recently won his election with a campaign that vilified the council for spending some taxpayer money on the engineering and design study for the project. He said, “Don’t you dare use our money to improve the private property of other people in this town that doesn’t benefit the town taxpayer base as a whole. That’s wrong; it’s un-American as far as I’m concerned.”

He also said he was “on board” with the project if the funds could be found to build it, but that parking was a concern. Also he wanted to know how much taxpayers would have to pay to maintain the river walk.