The New York State Thruway Authority announced the grand opening of the expanded pet comfort area at the Western New York Welcome Center in Grand Island. This collaborative effort between the Town of Grand Island and the Thruway Authority nearly doubled the size of the dog park.
Town of Grand Island and Thruway Authority officials, including Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll, cut the ribbon on the expanded dog park on Tuesday.
“The Western New York Welcome Center is a comfortable, welcoming setting for travelers and residents of all ages and no detail has been overlooked, including amenities for our four-legged friends,” Driscoll said. “Our partnership with the Town of Grand Island has allowed us to provide a safe and friendly location for pet owners and their pets to stretch and enjoy some fresh air while traveling.”
Town of Grand Island Town Supervisor John Whitney said, “I would like to thank Gov. Cuomo, Executive Director Matthew Driscoll and Division Director Matt Latko for their assistance in making this dog park expansion project a reality. It’s a great facility overall that not only serves the many travelers across this great state, but the people of Grand Island, as well. We are happy and proud to be a part of this tremendous project.”
The nearly 5,600-square-foot expansion project included the installation of new chain-link fencing, gated entrance, and separation gates. The expansion project mirrors the original dog park area and included two park benches, landscape boulders, a fire hydrant and a dog waste station.
The Town of Grand Island purchased and provided all materials related to the new park, while the Thruway Authority was responsible for all construction and installation aspects of the new design. The majority of the work took place in fall 2019 and was completed by Thruway Authority Facility, Division Support and Niagara Maintenance Section employees.
Grand Island Chamber of Commerce President Eric Fiebelkorn said, “The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce is excited to see the beautiful expansion of the dog park area at the WNY Welcome Center. This collaboration between the NYS Thruway Authority and the Town of Grand Island will benefit both local residents and visitors alike for many years to come. Yet another reason that our town, the Heart of the Niagara, is a grand place to live, work and play.”