WHEATFIELD – The Town of Wheatfield will pay CSX Transportation $14,960 to cover the railroad company’s costs for having its engineers review a plan to carry a Niagara River Greenway trail over its tracks. If CSX bills more than that, the town will have to pay the overage, too.
“If the project is going to go ahead, we have to make that payment,” Supervisor Robert B. Cliffe told the Town Board Monday. The town has a $1,136,000 federal grant and $70,000 in Greenway funding in hand to pay for the first phase of the trail along River Road between Gratwick-Riverside Park in North Tonawanda and the Niagara Falls city line.
CSX refused to allow grade crossings for the trail, so the plan now includes two overpasses. Wendel, the town’s engineering firm, is being paid up to $295,000 to design the route. The total cost of the 12-foot-wide paved trail could range from as low as $2 million to as high at $5 million, and Cliffe said the town eventually will have to borrow money. It already has authorized $350,000 in borrowing to pay up-front costs. The CSX payment can be made from the grant funds, however.