TARRYTOWN, Westchester County (WABC) -- A new bicycle and pedestrian path along the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge opened to the public Monday.
The new 3.6 mile path runs from Tarrytown across the Hudson River to South Nyack.
The opening happened on the late governor's birthday.
"I'm here to say happy birthday," Governor Andrew Cuomo said. "He would be very proud."
The path is 12-feet wide, with visitor parking and bicycle repair stations on both sides of the bridge.
Cuomo said the path provides an environmentally friendly new connection for families, runners, cyclists, walkers and commuters to travel between Westchester and Rockland counties.
"The new Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge is an iconic gateway to the Hudson Valley and a statewide landmark that celebrates the spirit of New York," he said. "The addition of this state-of-the-art bike and pedestrian path will provide New Yorkers and tourists alike with more ways to cross the river, as well as updated amenities and a unique, interactive experience to enjoy while taking in the scenic views of the Hudson River Valley."
The shared use path will be open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., though it may temporarily close due to inclement weather, maintenance operations or security concerns.
Hudson Link, the enhanced bus service sponsored by the New York State Department of Transportation serving the Interstate 87/287 corridor, will provide free shuttle service from large commuter parking lots in Rockland and Westchester to stop near the path's landings in Tarrytown and South Nyack Monday through Thursday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
On Friday, the Hudson Link path shuttle will begin its regular weekend summer schedule, operating from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
There is a four-hour time limit in the parking lots at the path, and visitors are strongly encouraged to take shuttles and other mass transit to the path. The shuttles will leave every 20 minutes from Palisades Center.
As part of its COVID-19 response, Hudson Link has taken the following precautions:
--Maximum occupancy per bus is 25 customers.
--All passengers are required to wear face masks.
--All passengers are asked to sit six feet away from each other while on the bus.
--Hand sanitizing units are installed on all Hudson Link buses.
--All operators wear face masks, gloves and use hand sanitizer.
--CDC approved industrial sanitizers are used nightly to clean each bus.
The ensure the safety of all using the new shared use path, visitors should keep six feet apart from others. When social distancing cannot be maintained, visitors are asked to wear a face covering on the path and in the restrooms. Physical and digital signs have been posted to remind visitors of their shared responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The path features designated lanes for pedestrians and cyclists traveling in both directions to ensure safety. There is a 15-mph speed limit for all cyclists. Per a new state law, Class 1 and Class 2 bicycles with electric assist (e-bikes) may be used on the path by those 16 years of age and older. All cyclists must yield to pedestrians.
When visiting the path, keep the following in mind:
--It takes approximately 80 minutes to walk the length of the path; factor in your return trip.
--It takes approximately 20 minutes to bike across the path.
--Wind, rain, sun, temperatures all feel more intense out over the water; dress accordingly.
--Restrooms are in the Welcome Centers at both landings.
--Water fountains are available at both landings, not on the path itself.
--You may feel the bridge vibrate; this is normal.
--If you need assistance, use the blue light phones along the path.
As part of a Thruway Authority pilot program, local merchants will offer food and services at both landings.
Three food trucks - Anthi's Greek Specialties, Westchester Burger Company and Graziella's Italian Kitchen - will serve both the Westchester and Rockland landings on a rotating basis, seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
At the Westchester Landing, Double Barrel Roasters will be on site serving hot and cold coffee, specialty drinks and scooped ices daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Blue Pig, which sells locally sourced ice cream, will operate from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., Friday to Sunday, while Sleek E-Bikes will offer electric bike rentals from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the summer.
At the Rockland Landing, Teagevity will offer organic tea and cold-brewed coffee from 9 a.m. to dusk, Thursdays to Sundays.
Free audio tours specially designed for walkers and cyclists are available for download. The mobile tours will include stories that cover a wide range of topics from information about bridge construction to local history, from the Hudson Valley's connection to art to the Hudson River and its surroundings. Travelers will be able to safely access the stories hands-free on their mobile devices while walking or cycling the pat