ITHACA, N.Y. –– There is progress being made on the Black Diamond Trail Bridge Project; ‘Soil boring’ will be taking place on the trail over the course of four days, in preparation for construction.

The soil boring is preliminary geotechnical investigations to inform the engineering and design work of the project, which is expected to break ground in 2021.

In April, New York State awarded $1.2 million to the City of Ithaca to build a bridge over the flood control channel at the end of the Cayuga Waterfront Trail to Cecil Malone Drive and Cherry Street.

The goal of the bridge is to connect the Waterfront Trail and the Black Diamond Trail as part of a larger goal of connecting all five pedestrian and biking trails in Tompkins County, and create a network of more than 120 miles of continuously connected trail. The trail is intended to draw increased tourism to Tompkins County.

“It not only saves time, but it also helps people on foot or on bike to avoid the congested and uncomfortable area of Route 13 at Meadow and Fulton Streets,” Tim Logue, director of engineering services for the City of Ithaca previously told The Voice in an email.

Logue went on to say, “NYS Parks has taken great leadership to build the first phase between the City and Taughannock State Park, and the City, State Parks, and the Town of Ithaca are working together to accomplish the second phase between Cass Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park. With funding opportunities of this scale hard to come by, it’s important that we take advantage of these big grants.

Portions of the existing Black Diamond Trail, near the south end, will be closed for a few days. According to the city, the contractor will have a work zone ahead, and sidewalk closed signs.

Correction: The original article stated “The goal of the bridge is to connect the Waterfront Trail and the Black Diamond Trail as part of a larger goal of connecting all five pedestrian and biking trails in Tompkins County, and create a network of more than 120 miles of continuously connected trail in Tompkins County dubbed the ‘Cayuga Lake Blueway Trail.”

The Cayuga Lake Blueway Trail is a separate initiative for a water-based paddling “trail” on Cayuga Lake for kayakers and canoers.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com