For residents along the Hudson River, the natural waterway serves as the ideal location for kayaking, boating, jet skiing, fishing and other water recreational activities. In the Town of Marlborough, a new adaptive kayak launch site has been planned at the Milton Landing.
At the Milton Landing today, it features several benches for people to sit at, several grills for outdoor cooking and several piers for people to fish and enjoy the views of the river. The north pier, however, has been chained off and is awaiting future repairs by the town.
The purpose of an adaptive kayak launch is that it will maintain overall resident safety and provide easier accessibility for those who may be wheelchair bound or may have other present disabilities. This type of dock will allow community members to enter and exit their kayak or vessel easier.
During the supervisor’s report on Monday, July 24, Marlborough Supervisor Scott Corcoran reported that he and the Kayak Committee had met and finalized the location for the adaptive kayak launch. The location chosen had been determined as between the north and south piers at the landing.
BoardSafe Docks, based out of Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, had been identified as the company that would be conducting the construction of the dock, and this would be the first time working with the town. A public presentation was offered on Monday night with no comments received from the public. This proposed kayak launch site will be compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and can be used by all kayakers and boaters alike.
“This came about because we’ve always had people interested in having a safe, accessible way to access the Hudson River,” said Corcoran. “It made sense after we redid the south pier down at the Milton Landing and the north pier to actually have the kayak launch situated down at that pier.”
Last year in the fall, Tom Warchol of BoardSafe Docks toured the landing site with Corcoran and his team at the Milton Landing site to survey where the dock could potentially be built. Completion and installation of the dock is anticipated for September of this year “We’ve been working with Scott and a lot of community members there regarding the new dock and kayak launch for about a year,” said Warchol.
The design for the dock would feature a boarding bench that can be used by those in wheelchairs along with grab bars for stability. Handrails along the entrance point help guide the vessel into the open water. Instructions for operation of the dock and railings along the walkway would also be installed. “It’s a great dock system. I think that it’s going to really help provide better access to the river,” said Warchol.
The proposed dock, a t-shaped design extending out from the shore, would be a 16 foot by 8 foot floating dock with a 32 foot gangway. Again, the dock would be ADA compliant and the kayak launch accessibility section be on the opposite side of the dock.
In 2021, a Hudson River Estuary Grant in the amount of $40,000 dollars was awarded to Marlborough. Reviewing the pricing provided by BoardSafe, the proposed cost for the project would be $45,599. Shipping would cost a projected $1,933 and construction supervision costs would be at $1,990. This would equal a total proposed cost of $49,522. With the additional $40,000 from the grant going towards the project, the total cost would be reduced to $9,522. “It [the grant] also requires to have a 15% match, so we have to match that by 15%,” said Corcoran.
Warchol said that a request for proposal was sent out this summer by Marlborough, and the town had received several responses for the dock construction. With the previous discussions and the product being what the town was looking for, BoardSafe was awarded the project.
The installation cost would be projected at $7,930; however, the town does not plan to pursue that option. Corcoran shared that the Marlborough Highway Department would work with BoardSafe to help with installation. “The town will be placing a concrete bulkhead there on the shore nearby where the southern dock, southern pier is located. And then our dock will come in and then be mounted up to that concrete bulkhead or foundation, and then the rest of the components will be installed,” said Warchol.
According to Corcoran, the town highway department will receive training on the dock installation and removal at the end of the season, and walkways have also been proposed to be installed to connect all the docks at the landing. “I would assume by next year, we’ll have the interconnection of the north, the south and the kayak launch piers all connected. And hopefully, then it’ll be fully accessible by next year in the springtime,” said Corcoran.
In order to reach the landing, residents must cross over the CSX rail lines that run parallel to the site. The town has a deeded right of way to the landing, as the tracks were installed after the fact. However, though the town has been working with CSX to get a safer crossing, it has led to some difficulties.
“We’ve been dealing with CSX now for 10 years with the crossing, and in their mind, they really don’t want us to have anything down there. We have been working with them to get a safer crossing,” said Corcoran.
According to Corcoran, the town, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and CSX were in communication with one another, and the DOT had acquired a $500,000 grant for the new crossing. The grant was awarded three years ago and the town is still waiting for a new crossing.
“Right now, we’re stuck on a maintenance agreement that CSX has asked us to sign which I refuse to sign because it’s no way beneficial to the Town of Marlborough’s taxpayers,” said Corcoran. “That agreement they want me to sign is a year-to-year agreement that at any time they can close the crossing. On top of that, they want a maintenance agreement of $17,000 plus a year with a 3% increase every year, thereafter, and I just cannot sign that for the taxpayers of the Town of Marlborough. I’ve been going back and forth with the representatives, they are rewriting the maintenance agreement right now.”
CSX was contacted for a comment on the project and the maintenance agreement with Marlborough. A response was provided that said CSX would need time to research and look into the project more. The dock again is set to arrive in September of this year.