Local attraction, The Walkway Over the Hudson, brings tourists towards the view of the river and waterfront for those who can make it to the center of the 6,768 ft. bridge.
A new elevator recently opened that gives rides from the waterfront to the bridge, letting out approximately 200 ft. from the middle of the attraction.
The air-conditioned elevator was opened to the public on Thursday, Aug. 14, located in Upper Landing Park, Poughkeepsie. From there it is capable of bringing people up to the walkway in 90 seconds. Wall-to-wall windows provide a view of the river and the entire understructure of the bridge itself.
“Any faster would really take away from the view and the whole experience,” Elevator Operator Craig Vincent said.
The elevator project is still not complete. Short term plans include scheduled maintenance and providing more accessible parking.
The nearest parking during the week is a small lot located adjacent to the Ice House Restaurant, approximately 100 yards from the elevator entrance. Parking is also available in the Poughkeepsie Train Station lot.
On the weekends, two Metro- North employee lots are made available for public use.
For those needing extra assistance, visitors can also be dropped off at the Upper Landing Park entrance, about 40 yards from the elevator.
Close access to the elevator is not as convenient as patrons would like.
“Parking is not as good as it could be,” said local resident and elevator user, Renata McElroy-Perlman. “There is a small plot of land behind the elevator that could be turned into a handicap lot.”
Although just recently opened to the public, the elevator has been in the works since the Walkway’s inception, according to Marketing and Communications Assistant for the Walkway, Ashley Arias.
The elevator was designed not only as a point of access to the bridge, but as an attraction in itself, with the intention of drawing more out- of- town visitors due to its location next to the train station.
“The Walkway State Historic Park Waterfront Elevator represents a community connection and serves as another important piece in the revitalization of the Poughkeepsie waterfront,” said State Parks Commissioner, Rose Harvey.
Since the Walkway was opened to the public in October 2009, it has seen an average of 700,000 visitors a year. A number expected to increase with the addition of the elevator, according to Arias.
The park itself is open daily from 7 a.m. until sundown. The elevator is open daily from 9 a.m. until one hour before park closing time.
During that time, local on-call maintenance workers are available to fix any unexpected issues within an hour, according to Arias.