In 2005 the City purchased two parcels of land on Thames Street, one parcel providing direct public access to the Thames River. The waterfront parcel consists of an existing dock and finger piers and the second is located directly across the street and adjoins Fort Griswold Battlefield State Park. Redevelopment of the property in some form could lead to promoting sustainable commercial redevelopment on Thames Street. Helping to catalyze this is the fact the sites are within very short walking distances to the Thames River Heritage Park Water Taxi and the Thames Street commercial district.
While no specific future use has been finalized for the landward parcel, the waterfront parcel is becoming transformed as passive recreation and provides much needed public waterfront access. In 2017 the City completed the installation of a new bulkhead and street side retaining wall, improving the site for safe public access to the waterfront. In the same year, the City received a Small Harbor Improvement Project Program (SHIPP) Grant to design and engineer the first phase of a larger project to bring transient boat docks to the area. When construction is funded, the first phase will construct a new dock facility and kayak launch central to the site and at the location of the existing pier remains, as well as a public restroom facility. Future funding will continue to be sought to implement phase one and additional phases.
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