WAMPSVILLE – The Madison County Highway Department, including Jeff Colburn, President of the department unit, is finishing the final paving of the Town of Lennox “Rail Trail” – part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s initiatives to build trails along old train track lines.

What’s different about the work being done in Madison County is that it’s one of the few counties in the state that has a rail trail contained within its boundaries where all the work is being done in-house.

“We’ve had assistance from the Town of Lennox Highway Department and the Town of Sullivan as well. But the vast majority of the work has been done in-house by our CSEA members here at the Madison County Highway Department,” Colburn said.

The almost 2.5-mile trail starts at the Canastota Skate Park on South Peterboro Street and goes up to Wampsville along the Madison County Highway Department facility.

CSEA workers in the Madison County Highway Department worked to build the road from the ground-up, put in drainage along the trail, and even built an observation area along the trail with railings made from old railroad tracks and pins.

“It’s been a long process all throughout the summer, but when it’s done it will be a real centerpiece of our accomplishments this construction season,” Colburn said.

Colburn, who was just honored for his 40 years of service to the county, is proud of the award-winning team he works with.

“The Madison County Highway Department and our CSEA members here are an amazing workforce … and every year we turn out an amazing, almost insane, amount of work that a private contractor would have trouble keeping up with us,” Colburn said.

In 2012 the county wanted to contract out it’s paving. CSEA filed the improper practice charge and it ended in a positive result for CSEA. Going forward it even helped establish a better relationship with the department and county.

“Our paving crew has moved forward, the county has made investments in equipment and manpower and today we have a paving crew that is second to none,” Colburn said.

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