After years of restoration and homeland security measures, Westchester residents can once again stroll across the Kensico Dam—a 300-foot-high walkway that overlooks the Kensico Reservoir on one side and a sprawling portion of the county on the other.
Westchester lawmakers held a ribbon cutting Thursday morning, opening the third-of-a-mile path to foot traffic and bicycles for the first time since 2005.
"Today is a homecoming," said Rob Astorino, Westchester's county executive. "The dam is in many ways a symbol of our county."
The dam was shut to the public for extensive repairs beginning seven years ago, an undertaking that took longer than expected and entailed a price tag of about $42 million.
Repairs included interior maintenance, landscaping, extensive cleaning and the installation of a new fence, said Chris Gilbride, an employee with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP).
Prior to the repairs, the September 11 attacks had shuttered the walkway for a period of time. A memorial now stands in the dam's plaza.
Astorino was joined by senator Greg Ball (R-Carmel), NYCDEP commissioner Carter Strickland and a handful of other legislators.
The Kensico Reservoir supplies water to New York City, and is property of NYCDEP. The dam's plaza is a Westchester County Park.