"In a region known for great waterfront destinations, Jamestown is not yet on the map. Visitors flock to attractions around the lake, including the Chautauqua Institution and Bemus Point, but Jamestown has not yet tapped the potential of the Chadakoin to serve as a major destination for residents and visitors."
That was the view of the Chadakoin riverfront from the perspective of Goody Clancy officials in Jamestown's Urban Design Plan, released in 2006. The city is now closer than ever to finally establishing its link to Chautauqua Lake - though it will take a little help from the state's Consolidated Funding Application process.
Earlier this year, the city broke ground on the latest phase of the Riverwalk, extending the blacktop path of the Riverwalk along the north shore of the Chadakoin River to a point adjacent to Panzarella Park. The area will have decorative lighting along the trail; a stream bank-stabilization system; park amenities such as benches, picnic tables and trash cans; landscaping, including trees and grasses; and the preparation of links and departure points for the planned pedestrian bridge crossings to Panzarella Park.
On Monday, the Jamestown City Council approved applications for the city to submit to the New York State Regional Economic Development Council an application for grant funding to extend from the current trail system on both the north and south sides of the Chadakoin River and follow the industrial heritage trail along Steele Street and also follow the Chadakoin River that will meet and link to McCrae Point Boat Landing. Phase 6 will also follow a path through West Third Street beginning at the Washington Street Bridge in a secondary loop to once again follow the Chadakoin River to extend and link to McCrae Point Boat Landing.
The council also endorsed a Transportation Enhancement Program grant application for the Jones & Gifford Redevelopment Project submitted by the Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities in collaboration with the City of Jamestown and the Village of Celoron. That project would link to Phase 6 of the Riverwalk and construct a dedicated walking and bike paths in both the city of Jamestown and village of Celoron, using established rights-of-way from the McCrea Point Boat Landing in Jamestown to Lucille Ball Memorial Park in Celoron.
It has taken years for the Chadakoin Riverwalk to take shape, but it appears the project is riding a wave of momentum that could finally result in its completion. It is welcome news.