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July 28, 2021

Hartford could get $900,000 for riverfront park work from federal appropriations bill

HBJ File Photo An event at Mortensen Riverfront Plaza in Hartford draws crowds to the Connecticut River.

Plans to construct a park linking Hartford’s North End with the Connecticut River could get a boost in the form of nearly $1 million in federal funding.

In a statement released Monday, U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-Conn., said his request to steer $900,000 to the City of Hartford to support the park’s development has been included in a House transportation, housing and economic development appropriations bill.

“The I-84 and I-91 interchange has divided the City of Hartford and cut off its residents from the Connecticut River,” Larson said. “I have long been an advocate of efforts to recapture the riverfront and reconnect the city, so I’m proud to announce that funding to continue these efforts has been included in the [fiscal year] 2022 appropriations package.”

The public green space in northern Hartford expected to be known as Riverfront Park will include a trail linking the Hartford and Windsor riverwalks, as well as a new cove for swimming and recreation, according to Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. Once completed, it would be the fifth riverside park established in the area, alongside Charter Oak Landing, Mortensen Riverfront Plaza and Riverside Park in Hartford and Great River Park in East Hartford.

Those parks are overseen by Riverfront Recapture, which was formed to revitalize what had been vacant or industrialized stretches of waterfront property in and around the capital city.

“We are so grateful for this funding, which will allow us to build a beautiful new park, expand access to the Connecticut River and reconnect Hartford’s North End neighborhood to the river, and ultimately, to the region,” said Riverfront Recapture President and CEO Michael Zaleski. “It’s time for transformation, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

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