QUEENSBURY — The plans for a bike trail that would loop through part of Queensbury have been cut in half.
The town won’t consider the entire proposed route, which was estimated to cost $5.3 million, Supervisor John Strough said.
“No one in their right mind would spend $5 million,” he said.
But he wants to move forward with a trail that connects eastward to Glens Falls.
The study was worth it “just to uncover that idea,” he said.
The Adirondack & Glens Falls Transportation Council developed the proposed trail and presented it to the town two weeks ago.
But Strough said he got pushback from some residents who were not happy with the price tag.
At the presentation, Town Board member George Ferone also expressed concern about the cost.
Strough said the town should be able to do a portion of the trail for much less money.
He wants to explore the portion that would run from Peggy Ann Road, through National Grid land to Hudson Pointe Boulevard and the Hudson Pointe Nature Preserve.
Strough announced that state Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, has also promised to help fund the trail.
She has promised $150,000 for it, he said.
He noted that the Rush Pond Trail system was estimated to cost $2 million but was primarily completed with work from volunteers and Boy Scouts working toward their Eagle Scout award.
“We did it for $200,000,” Strough said. “I could do this bike path for less, too.”
Jack Mance, senior transportation planner for the Adirondack & Glens Falls Transportation Council, warned at the presentation that Strough might not be able to use volunteer labor as much with the proposed trail.
He said that National Grid “wouldn’t want to see volunteers with wheelbarrows of gravel” on its land. But the National Grid portion is only about a half-mile of the route, behind the Adirondack Sports Complex between Upper Sherman Avenue and Luzerne Road.
The rest of the route does not involve National Grid, and Strough said he knows how to reduce costs.
“Two hundred thousand dollars for Rush Pond, and that was when I didn’t know what I was doing. I could do it for cheaper now. I know what corners to cut,” Strough said.
Board member Jennifer Switzer corrected him, saying that he meant that he knows how to accomplish the job more efficiently.
“You’re not actually cutting corners,” she said.
Mance was not disappointed to hear that the town will consider only a portion of the proposed trail. He said part of his job is to provide a full variety of options, including a complete loop, but that he doesn’t feel the entire project must be built.
“Any progress that results in more trails is good,” he said. “Part of our goal is more trails.”
He added that news of Little’s funding is “fantastic.”