Last week, Mayor-elect Randy Casale led a group of Metro-North engineers and Scenic Hudson staff on an expedition to find the missing link, in the form of a long-forgotten tunnel. Except it wasn’t really that long ago that the long-forgotten tunnel was remembered. It’s just that we forgot about it again rather quickly.
The missing link is the long-desired hook-up between the trails at Dennings Point and Madame Brett Park. The sticking point has always been how to get to the other side of the Metro-North railroad tracks–the Madame Brett trail comes to an abrupt end right where that small, bright white square is in the lower (southwestern) quadrant of the Google map above. (That’s the control box thing for the fiber optic signal cables.)
On Wednesday, December 7, Casale’s team examined an area of the spur track just to the right (west) of the railroad trestle that crosses the Metro-North commuter line. Sure enough, they found what Beacon resident Dave Miller told them they would find–the wing buttress wall of a tunnel that goes under the spur line about 150 feet from the trestle. If this tunnel was unsealed, the Madame Brett trail could duck under the spur line, skirt the edge of the old city dump, and then hook into the Dennings Avenue extension, where it would cross the wooden pedestrian/vehicle bridge and link up with Dennings Point, and the Klara Sauer trail leading to the Beacon waterfront parks and the train station.
This is an exciting development. It would be even more exciting for Dave Miller if it wasn’t all a big case of deja vu for him. Miller, 84, lives on Tioranda Avenue, just past the entrance to Madame Brett Park, in a house his grandfather built. In the late 90s, then mayor Clara Lou Gould tapped Miller to built the Madam Brett Trail. The Hudson Valley Green talked with Dave recently about building the trail, his memories of using the tunnel to get to Dennings Point to swim, and more.
Part II tomorrow.