HARTFORD, CT - Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Lieutenant Gov. Nancy Wyman Wednesday announced that $1.5 million in state funding will support the Riverwalk South and Gateway project in Hartford – the last piece of a three-mile loop of fully accessible riverwalks between the Founders and Charter Oak Bridges, and more than 4.5 miles of riverwalks in Riverfront’s four parks along the Connecticut River.
The funds, to be approved Friday at the State Bond Commission meeting, will allow for improvements to be made to Riverfront’s existing gravel walkway, providing immediate benefit to citizens who use this section of riverfront and attracting new park visitors as well. Ultimately, the project will include a new entrance to the Riverfront linking the historic Coltsville and Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods to the Riverfront parks.
“This project will help revitalize Hartford and East Hartford along the Connecticut River, creating a vision that will spur activity along the riverfront while highlighting some of the region’s most charming assets,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “The funding will help the project accomplish important design goals as well as create up to five short-term jobs.”
“This exciting project also benefits hundreds of children who attend one of five schools in the Sheldon Charter Oak neighborhoods,” said Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “These students will now have direct access to the Riverfront. In addition, this project will create jobs and reconnect Hartford with the Connecticut River.”
"Our plan is to increase connectivity from the neighborhoods to the City's parks and between the parks," said Mayor Pedro Segarra. "This funding will help us achieve those long term goals."
"I want to thank the Administration for its continued commitment to Hartford and the revitalization of areas surrounding the Connecticut River,” said Rep. Matthew Ritter (D-Hartford). Riverfront Recapture is a shining example of how public-private partnerships can strengthen our cities and I am glad that the State is continuing its investment in this beautiful and unique area."
Riverfront Recapture was created in 1981 to lead the effort to reconnect the community with the banks of the Connecticut River in Hartford and East Hartford. Riverfront has developed nearly 140 acres of parks and riverwalks through its public-private partnership. More than 800,000 park visitors annually enjoy the parks, riverwalks, and wooded trails as well as the variety of family-friendly events and programs ranging from cultural festivals and artistic performances to athletic competitions and fireworks.
The Riverfront management plan, built on the premise that the Riverfront is a regional asset, is recognized as a national model for urban parks. Under the plan, Riverfront Recapture manages the parks for the City of Hartford and Town of East Hartford. The regional water authority, the Metropolitan District, delivers and pays for Riverfront park maintenance through a small charge paid by its rate payers and also funds a parks rangers program. Visit www.riverfront.org for more information.