It's not the warmest time for a bike ride, but that didn't stop plenty of people from coming out to see the area's newest stretch of trail.

The West River Shoreline Trail on Grand Island officially opened Tuesday after months of work to transform the former highway.

The project cost $2.5 million, with more than half of the funding coming from a federal grant. Another $900,000 came from the New York Power Authority.

Proponents of the project say this is a much-needed connection from Niagara Falls to the Tonawandas and beyond.

"It's taken us five years, and it's a great day. It's a great celebration,” said Grand Island resident Dave Pratt. “I'm all for health and wellness and outdoor recreation, and this now gives us a contiguous bike path from Lackawanna to Lewiston. This was the missing section."

But the project didn't come without some controversy.

Some people who live on West River Road, parallel to the trail, say they're still concerned about maintenance, as well as increased traffic from the closure of the highway.

"We're just concerned that our neighborhood be taken care of,” said June Crawford, negotiator for the West River Homeowners Association. “We have to live across the street from the bike path, so we're anxious of course, about the garbage, and people walking dogs and not picking up after them, that kind of thing."

The project also included refurbished overlooks, landscaping, and year-round access to the Niagara River.