Governor Charlie Baker, Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, elected leaders, and local officials celebrated the official opening of the CoveWalk, New Bedford’s newest recreational waterfront path located atop the Hurricane Barrier overlooking Clark’s Cove.
The 5,500 foot project was awarded $5 million from the Baker-Polito Administration to help increase access to the historic waterfront and better connect residents and visitors to local attractions, businesses, and the natural landscape.
“Our administration is proud of its partnership with our Commonwealth’s municipalities and pleased to make investments like these that strengthen opportunities in communities like New Bedford,” said Governor Baker. “This innovative CoveWalk will provide a range of new recreational, transit, economic and tourism benefits for visitors, individuals and families throughout the region.”
“We are dedicated to working closely with cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth to achieve our shared transportation and economic goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By investing in local projects such as New Bedford’s CoveWalk, we can empower our communities and better connect our citizens with opportunities that improve their quality of life.”
“The new CoveWalk will help restore access to New Bedford Harbor and promote increased connectivity and development throughout the region,” said Secretary Pollack. “We are pleased to have supported this project as we continue investing in local infrastructure upgrades that allow people to utilize all modes of transportation including bicycling and walking to reach the places they need to go.”
The New Bedford Hurricane Barrier is the largest manmade structure on the east coast of the United States and now features a recreational pathway that offers spectacular water views. In 2015, New Bedford opened the HarborWalk on the east side of the peninsula, providing extraordinary views of New Bedford Harbor.
“Reconnecting the City and its neighborhoods to the waterfront is a project that I have felt is extremely important to New Bedford, and that is something members of the Baker-Polito administration, including Secretary Pollack and Highway Administrator Tinlin, have supported,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “With the elevated hurricane barrier between South End neighborhoods and the water, the CoveWalk and HarborWalk once again offer spectacular views of Clark’s Cove and New Bedford Harbor for residents and visitors. It is a unique and beautiful space where you can walk, run, or bike with an extraordinary view.”
“MassDOT is continuing to work hand in hand with municipalities including New Bedford in strengthening our transportation systems and promoting economic growth,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin. “We are proud to have provided the resources to ensure this project moved forward, and we thank all the stakeholders and personnel involved in creating this unique, new recreational path along the New Bedford shoreline.”
In 1962, construction of the hurricane barrier across New Bedford Harbor began in an effort to greatly minimize the destructive effects of flood waters associated with severe storms. Dedicated in 1966, the hurricane barrier remains the largest manmade structure on the east coast of the United States and provides security for industries, the fishing fleet, and hundreds of homes in residential neighborhoods. The Harbor Barrier and Dike have protected New Bedford and the neighboring communities of Acushnet and Fairhaven from storm surge but, the dike portion of the structure—a massive 18 foot high, 4,600 foot stone wall—has limited public access to the water.
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