The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is planning improvements to the Naples-Lehigh Valley Rail Trail, a 6.5-mile trail of abandoned railroad within High Tor Wildlife Management Area in the town of Italy. The trail parallels the West River.

The DEC has applied for freshwater permits that are subject to a public comment period.

According to the filing on the DEC’s website, the work includes the placement of 8 inches of roadway material over 1.7 miles of trail surface between Parrish Cross Road and the West River Boat Launch site.

Seven timber rail bridges will be replaced with pre-fabricated steel single-span bridges and two culverts will be replaced to improve drainage where the trail has been washed out.

The new bridges will be capable of handling vehicle traffic and will include safety measures for pedestrians.

Application documents and draft permits are available for inspection during normal business hours at the NYSDEC Region 8 Headquarters in Avon.

The DEC will accept written comments on the project until June 13 via postal mail or email to Thomas J. Walker, NYSDEC Region 8 Headquarters, 6274 E Avon-Lima Rd., Avon, N.Y. 14414

Email to DEP.R8@dec.ny.gov