Presentation: How the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook Reconnected a City
Did you attend this year’s Annual New York State Association of Transportation Engineers Conference? If you weren’t able to join or maybe just didn’t get to see everything you wanted, here is the great presentation our President & CEO, Dan Shearer, gave on how the Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook in Amsterdam New York transformed the City’s Connectivity and Surrounding Area:
The Mohawk Valley Gateway Overlook reconnects the City of Amsterdam’s north and south side neighborhoods. These neighborhoods saw themselves split by roadways in the 1960s and 1970s, leading to a disconnect from each side. The pedestrian bridge was conceived to reconnect the city and also unite the neighborhoods that had been divided by the river. To infuse new energy into the city’s riverfront, Saratoga Associates created a comprehensive vision for a waterfront park system that could not only connect the two sides of the Mohawk River, but create a much larger, cultural impact on the city.
The unique “Park over the River” theme for the pedestrian bridge extends a greenway across the Mohawk, including extensive landscape planting, viewing areas, and gathering spaces for large functions. Fostering the revitalization of downtown Amsterdam, the bridge provides residents and visitors an opportunity to access Riverlink Park on the north side of the river. An array of interpretive elements highlights the history and culture of the City and its relationship to the Mohawk Valley Region. The design of the bridge used various interpretations of architectural and landscape architectural elements to celebrate the story of Amsterdam.
To further encompass the park-like feeling of more than just a bridge, landscape lighting, cultural and interpretative items, railings, benches and other public amenities we’re intertwined with each phase of the design elements. Concrete surfaced pedestrian trails, decorative retaining walls, and plantings are incorporated on bridge approaches, creating a continuous park-like environment and transforming the area into a unique recreational destination. During its short life, the MVGO has become a source of revenue generation for the City due to popular programming.. In addition to regularly scheduled activities like yoga classes, walking programs and kayak tours, the MVGO now hosts a myriad of events including; ethnic festivals, sunset viewing parties, river celebrations and numerous concerts and family events all through the year which aim to unify diverse origins, perspectives, and places, becoming a destination for tourists, historians, nature enthusiasts and boaters alike.