By: John W. Barry
Excerpts below. Read the full article, via the Poughkeepsie Journal.
For decades, the Poughkeepsie-Highland Railroad Bridge towered over the City of Poughkeepsie unused, a dilapidated relic haunting Hudson River views.
Today, the reimagined bridge is a signature sight for the mid-Hudson Valley.
In the 10 years since it was opened, the Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park has hosted more than five million visitors and become a global destination that showcases the natural beauty for which the region is known.
Touted as the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, the 1.28-mile expanse with sweeping views of the valley attracts locals with time to kill and tourists with cash to burn. It welcomes cyclists and in-line skaters, pet owners and joggers, some on a daily basis.
It has hosted weddings, marathons, marches against violence and oppression, and helped nonprofit organizations raise thousands of dollars for a range of causes.
Local businesses have attributed growth to its popularity. It’s given food and snack vendors a busy spot to set up shop. And, it is credited for injecting tens of millions of dollars into the mid-Hudson Valley’s economy annually.