Keuka Lake Access and Champlin Beach projects set for bids


By Jeff Smith


jsmith@the-leader.com


HAMMONDSPORT - The first steps of the long awaited Keuka Lake Waterfront Access and Champlin Beach Improvements project will soon be underway.


Dave Oliver, president of the Friends of Hammondsport Area Trails & Parks, said work will begin in late spring or early summer on a pedestrian bridge that will connect Champlin Beach and Curtis Park.


“Once that work begins I don’t think it will take too long to complete the work,” Oliver said. “The estimated cost of the project is expected to be somewhere around $100,000. It will be a 90-foot long walking bridge that is 10-feet wide.”


Urbana Town Supervisor Ed Stull said the project is expected to go out to bid in the next couple weeks and be awarded sometime in April.


Oliver said work is also expected to begin late spring or in early summer on the construction of a 10-feet-wide broadwalk that will run throughout much of Champlin Beach to the walking bridge connecting the area to Curtis Park.


Initial work on the project could start almost anytime because the Urbana Town Highway Department will be doing much of the tail work, Oliver said. The overall project is expected to cost about $900,000.


Oliver said because the boardwalk work will be done on wetlands and in the buffer zone the project must be approved by the Army Corp of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation.


“We have received very good support from the community for all of the upgrades,” Oliver said


Both the boardwalk and pedestrian bridge work are being assisted with funding from state grants.


Other work, expected to begin in 2021, include a proposed Champlin Beach pier, parking area, multipurpose building, trails and a wildlife viewing area, according to Saratoga Associates, a firm assisting the town implementing the improvements.


The improvements to Champlin Beach and Curtiss Park include pedestrian and bicycle routes along the waterfront to connect the beach, the park and the Keuka Lake wetland ecosystem together.


On the Champlin beach side there will be a new tree-lined boulevard with parking for 175 vehicles, a prominent waterfront center facility, and marina, according to Saratoga Associates. This waterfront center will feature public restrooms, storage, outdoor plaza, and potential rental space, and the marina will include a new pier with boat slips.


On Curtiss Park, there will be a pedestrian and vehicular connection to the existing Liberty Street, a new parking and drop-off area, and new recreational opportunities with the addition of a kayak launch and fishing points.


Connecting these two parks will be a fully accessible elevated boardwalk through the wetlands with educational and informational kiosks along it, according to Saratoga Associates. This boardwalk will also feature a wildlife observation tower and a second kayak launch, spanning over Keuka Inlet with a new pedestrian bridge.


Saratoga Associates said although many new features are to be added, it is equally important to retain the sites’ existing assets.


Mainly, they said it is vital that the “fragile wetland ecosystem and its scenic beauty” are protected, and that impacts to the shoreline are avoided. Additionally, a baseball field near the beach will be retained in the preferred design.