The expansion of the Setauket-Port Jefferson Multi-Use Path, commonly known as the Greenway Trail, is set to begin Saturday at a groundbreaking ceremony at 11 a.m.
U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop, D-Southampton, who helped secure the federal funding, will be in attendance along with other state, town and county officials. The groundbreaking will be held in the New York State Department of Transportation parking lot behind 7-11 at the intersection of Route 112 and Route 25A in Port Jefferson Station.
The trail will be expanded from its original length of approximately 1.5 miles to a just under 4 miles, and is expected to cost between $4.5 million and $5 million of federal money. Phase II will first connect the existing trail to the Hallock Avenue park-and-ride in Port Jefferson Station, and later will be expanded past Gnarled Hollow Road to connect it to Limroy Lane in East Setauket.
Charlie McAteer, chairman of the Friends of the Greenway Trail, called the trail "our community gem that is helping connect our communities in a walkable, bikeable nature trail."
According to McAteer, the complete trail has been in the planning stages for more than 10 years.
"[It] will also tie the two Route 25A business districts in these communities and the Stony Brook University's North entry point," he said.
Over the years, the trail has been the beneficiary of numerous and fundraising campaigns to beautify the trail and add benches and signings, sponsored by local civic groups and .