This year the cadets were also aided by local trail contractor,
Tahawus Trails, which helped provide better access to the site with
excavation and debris removal and were also joined by Fahnestock State
“The partnership between the USMA Civil Engineering Program, OSI,
Fahnestock State Park, and this year – Tahawus Trails, has been simply
remarkable. These bridge projects are inspirational to the Cadets, and
have become the most sought after type of project in our program. They
provide a tremendous and unique learning and developmental opportunity
for the Cadets, as it is rare for students to take a project from its
initial conception all the way through completed construction. We
simply would not be able to do something like this without the
tremendous support from everyone involved, and we look forward to a
continued partnership,” said Colonel Brad Wambeke, the Director of the
Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department at West Point.
Dr. J. Ledlie Klosky, Professor of Civil Engineering at West Point
added, “This ongoing partnership has been exceptionally fruitful, and
the result is a highly accessible trail for a variety of users, with the
completed bridges marking special way-points in a beautiful outdoor
OSI provided more than $4,000 toward the project from its Waletzky
State Parks Fund for bridge materials while OPRHP supplied additional
onsite coordination and equipment and obtained the appropriate permits
from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. In
total, OSI has contributed more than $42,000 in support of the West
Point cadet bridge replacement projects at Fahnestock.
The park’s West Point bridges each have a distinct style which
reflects the needs of the setting and the design preferences of each
class. This year the cadets designed a 15-foot-long and seven-foot-wide
arch truss bridge with wood and cable railings. Previous bridge designs
include twin 30-foot steel girder bridges, a raised flat bridge with a
prominent “A” design in the railing, and an arch suspension bridge.
These bridge replacements are part of the larger Hubbard Perkins Loop
improvement project OSI is collaborating on with OPRHP. Last year, OSI
announced and began a series of projects at Fahnestock to improve and
upgrade the trails in the northern section of Fahnestock State Park.
The upgrades will improve safety and access to OSI-protected lands and
help transform NYS Route 301 into a true park drive, provide enhanced
wayfinding signs for navigation, and better accommodate new and existing
users to the park. The Hubbard-Perkins Trail project is also being
supported by the Taconic Regional Parks Commission and Friends of
Fahnestock-Hudson Highlands State Parks and is expected to be
substantially completed by the end of the calendar year.
Since the 1990s, working in partnership with the State of New York,
OSI has doubled the size of Fahnestock State Park, bringing the park to
more than 14,000 acres of protected woodlands, valleys, and plateaus. In
2016, OSI raised more than $1.2 million to renovate the Canopus
Beach/Winter Park Complex at Fahnestock and improve trails and
trailheads. OSI is continuing its commitment to this beloved landscape
by carrying out critically needed repairs and access improvements so
that future generations can continue to enjoy the park.