Phase II of the Setauket-Port Jefferson Multi-Use Path or the Greenway Trail as it's commonly known reached the crossing at Clifton Place, a milestone because the expansion will end at the parking lot on the other side of that roadway.
The trail was expanded from its original length of approximately 1.5 miles to just under 4 miles, and is expected to cost between $4.5 million and $5 million of federal money. Phase II will connect the existing trail to the Hallock Avenue park-and-ride in Port Jefferson Station, and later will be expanded past Gnarled Hollow Road to connect it to Limroy Lane in East Setauket.
At the groundbreaking of the expansion this spring, Charlie McAteer, chairman of the Friends of the Greenway Trail, called the trail "our community gem that is helping connect our communities in a walkable, bikeable nature trail."
According to McAteer, the complete trail had been in the planning stages for more than 10 years.
"[It] will also tie the two Route 25A business districts in these communities and the Stony Brook University's North entry point," he said.
Over the years, the trail has been the beneficiary of numerous community clean-up events and fundraising campaigns to beautify the trail and add benches and signings, sponsored by local civic groups and Scout projects.
Recently though the trail caused some friction in the community when a wider-than-anticipated swath of forest was cleared for the expansion.