Just in time for its 10th anniversary, the Walkway Over the Hudson, in Poughkeepsie NY, a former railway bridge and now the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, at over a mile long and 212 feet high, has opened its Dutchess County side visitor center. Connecting Poughkeepsie to the town of Lloyd, the state park continues to exceed expectations with over 600,000 visitors last year.
Due to its popularity, New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP) contracted Saratoga Associates to design and construct a visitor center at each side of the bridge. Opened in summer of 2018, the Ulster entrance has been a tremendous success. To balance the amenities on the opposite side of the linear park, the Dutchess Entrance Visitor’s Center opened to the public in June of 2019 with a ribbon cutting announced by Governor Cuomo.
Saratoga Associates prepared conceptual designs, construction documents and construction administration working in conjunction with the not-for-profit organization Walkway Over the Hudson. The objective of the visitor’s center was to improve visitor experience, provide information facilities, and allow for a multi-purpose outdoor venue that improves functions and activities.
The design includes OPRHP office space to provide local information, restrooms, shaded patio, interactive historical elements, and plentiful seating. Another goal of the project was to connect the park to the surrounding neighborhood, and improve circulation patterns while providing a clear and fresh arrival experience.