Improvements to Forest Home Walkway (updated June 17)
As you have probably noticed, the Forest Home Walkway Improvement Project finally got started in the first week of May. This path was established in 1911 by George Warren, who lived in the house that is now 127 Warren Road, to ease his commute between his farm and Cornell where he was on the faculty of the new agricultural college. The early history was described in 1976 by Martha Hertel, daughter of George Warren, in The Path. In the early 1980s, the path was given to the Town of Ithaca, by Martha and her siblings.
The primary objectives of the current project are:
- Safer and more comfortable walking, with steps on the steepest section and a more robust railing alongside the entire upper and lower sections of the trail
- A graded compacted surface that is comfortable to walk on and more resistant to heavy rain.
- New systems for drainage, intended both to divert water off the path surface and to avoid damage to and by adjoining properties at the lower end.
On the lower section, as well as installing pre-cast concrete steps, two important features are not visible, because they are below the ground.
- immediately to the left (as in photo below) of the path, a drainage pipe with perforations on its top has been installed to take the water down to the existing catch basin near the bottom of the Walkway. The drainage swale behind 200 FHD, now also feeds into that pipe.
- immediately to the right of the path concrete pillars have been embedded, ready for the new metal railing to be installed.
The engineering drawings are at https://fhia.org/wp-content/uploads/Highlights/Forest-Home-Walkway-Contract-Drawings_April-2021.pdf
The contract was awarded after approval by the Town Board on December 29, 2021. See https://fhia.org/wp-content/uploads/Highlights/WalkwayImprovementsContractApproval_Dec2021.pdf
One feature of the improved walkway will be a metal railing alongside the entire trail except the flattish central section. On June 2nd, the contractors brought all the railing sections to the site to adjust the welded joints with a blow torch so that they will fit on to the embedded concrete bases.
At the bottom of the walkway there will be a concrete pad that connects to the crosswalk at the bottom of Pleasant Grove Road. The shuttering for the pad was put in place on June 1st and filled on June 3rd.
On June 14th, Kris Merschrod took photos as he walked down from Warren Road to the central flatter section and back up. Notice the connection to a new section of pedestrian path on the west side of Warren Road. The central flat section is now protected from the erosion that happens everywhere on the hillside by precast concrete blocks.