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B&L Receives Best Firms to Work For Award

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Onondaga Canalways Trail – Phase 1

What was the Challenge?

Construction of the Canalways Trail Extension Project presented numerous challenges to B&L designers.  This segment of the trail needed to link existing pathways from the St. Joseph’s Amphitheater and New York State Fairgrounds Orange Lot to a new NYSDEC Boat Launch adjacent to the recently improved I-690 Exit 7 off-ramp.  This required traversing 65-feet of vertical elevation over just 2,200 linear feet.  The trail could not negatively impact the environmental resources surrounding Onondaga Lake, which included a NYSDEC-protected wetland and multiple Honeywell Lake remediation sites.  The project site also featured poor soils conditions as well as contaminated soils which would require tactful handling and disposal.  Finally, the trail traversed a tributary to Onondaga Lake, which received substantial stormwater flows.

How did Barton & Loguidice provide a solution?

The design team at B&L provided contemporary solutions to solve each of the site’s challenges. The asphalt trail was constructed atop a thick layer of blasted shale as well as a geo-synthetic-reinforced aggregate foundation.  B&L developed the site-specific stabilized pavement structure to ensure minimal settlement would occur as a result of the poor soils.  B&L designed an impervious drainage network consisting of a geomembrane-lined swale and custom-built polypropylene drainage structures to convey stormwater flows and protect the Onondaga Lake watershed.  A precast concrete box culvert was conceptualized and designed by B&L for the trail to the traverse the lake tributary.  Overall, the profile and alignment of the trail were meticulously designed to provide a safe and comfortable riding experience for trail visitors.

Why was the project a success?

The newly constructed segment of the Canalways trail opened in the Fall of 2019, successfully extending the multi-use trail system surrounding Onondaga Lake. Not only does this trail bring the Syracuse community one step closer to completing the “Loop the Lake” trail network, a process which began in the 1970’s, but this trail also serves as part of the state-wide Empire State Trail. The completion of this project creates a vital link connecting the west shore trail and its surrounding communities to the Onondaga Lake Parkway and Village of Liverpool, NY. The trail connects the City’s lakefront and downtown areas allowing users access to destinations such as Destiny USA, the Regional Market, the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center, and Clinton Square. B&L’s innovative problem-solving during design and on-going oversight throughout construction lead to this project’s success. Our partners, Onondaga County and NYSDOT, were critical in ensuring project completion on-time and on-budget. This project is an important milestone for the Syracuse community and will serve the public for generations to come.

Project At a Glance


New York


  • Environmental Engineering & Compliance
  • Trails & Greenways
  • Watershed Science & Stormwater Management

Project Awards

  • 2020 APWA CNY Transportation Project of the Year

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