Harp, Murphy Vow To Address Rising Tides

Paul Bass PhotoNew Haven’s wish list for federal help includes one item that may not cost money.

Mayor Toni Harp unveiled the wish list Friday after she and top aides huddled with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy.

They filled Murphy in on their top priorities for building up New Haven in the coming two years. The short list includes helping secure up to $33 million for public improvements as part of the $395 million plan to build a new urbanist-style mini-city atop the old New Haven Coliseum site; and $8 million for improvements to Tweed-New Haven Airport, with the eventual goal of adding flight service to the Washington, D.C., area.

Murphy promised to help secure the money. He said he’d seek to help get New Haven a new “TIGER” grant to continue filling in the old Route 34 Connector mini-highway-to-nowhere in order to reconnect Orange Street with South Orange Street as part of the Coliseum plan. New Haven has promised to try to find $33 million in local and state and federal money for such infrastructure improvements as part of that plan. (Read more about that here.) Murphy acknowledged that it may be tough getting another competitive TIGER grant for New Haven, since New Haven has already received two of them. An alternative, he and Harp said, would be to convince the state to devote some of the federal transportation money it controls to the project. Murphy promised to take part in that persuasion effort. (Gov. Dannel Malloy pretty much promised to help the project, at Harp’s inauguration last week.)

“It puts a new face on the city. As the gateway to the city, it will over night make the city attractive,” Murphy said of the Coliseum plan, which officials approved last month.

“I’m thrilled” at Murphy’s commitment to help find the money, Harp said at a City Hall press conference following Murphy’s closed-door briefing.

Harp said that right at the top of the wish list is a request without a price tag: for federal expert advice to help plan for rising sea levels.

Murphy and fellow U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal are trying to get a University of Connecticut research center started for this purpose, as many communities statewide seek to figure out how to build or not to build, and how to protect what’s already built, in the wake of ever-more-frequent climate change-sparked superstorms. That center would take years to build, if it’s built at all. In the meantime, Harp pointed out, New Haven needs to improve the Morris Cove Seawall and figure out the details of major development plans along the Mill River and the harbor.

After the press conference, development officials took Murphy to the Coliseum site. Click on the play arrow to watch them describe the hoped-for new street grid.

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posted by: Bill Saunders on January 10, 2014  5:37pm

The only rising tide that Mayor Harp needs to address is her rising poor public opinion.

posted by: robn on January 10, 2014  6:45pm

I can give you a some freebie advice on rising tides right now. Check this out. Zoom in on NH and crank it up to @ 5M. We can say goodbye to large portions of Morris Cove, The Annex, Fair haven, Long Wharf and the Hill.


posted by: THREEFIFTHS on January 10, 2014  8:28pm

People wake up.You are being sold Three Card Monte.


posted by: Martha Smith on January 10, 2014  9:49pm

Rising sea level is an important issue that all coastal towns need to consider carefully and start including in all planning and public works decisions.  New Haven has done some planning already in this area, but I’m glad to read that Mayor Harp realizes its importance and is not waiting until the next big storm to say something about it.

posted by: NewHavenTaxTooHigh on January 11, 2014  2:19am

I suggest that Mayor Harp fix the Town Clerk’s office first, and then attack rising sea levels.

posted by: Atticus Shrugged on January 11, 2014  8:22am

BS, Mayor Harp is the mayor.  Get over it.  One of the issues she campaigned on is her working relationship with Senators Murphy and Blumenthal and the Governor.  These people are actively trying to bring money to the City and she is the conduit.  Perhaps it is time to lighten up, get over the fact that your candidate lost the race, and HELP her do the things you want done.

In the mean time, Harp is delivering on what she promised.  She is beginning to address the East Shore’s needs, she is tackling getting money for development in the City which will bring in a steady flow of jobs, and she taking the advice of Chief Esserman (whom all candidates had faith in) and working closely with him to improve policing efforts. 

It is not her fault that the prior administration did not fill out all of the police jobs or firefighter jobs and left the City unsafe.  It will take time to remedy those deficiencies.

But yes, you’re right, she should be crucified for not having created light, earth, the beasts that walk upon it, and man within the first 9 days of her administration and resting on the 10th.  Your opinions are just like your initials.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on January 11, 2014  6:41pm

Another grand and expensive vision that promises again to make the City what?

The Route 34 plans for development will again fail to reconnect the neighborhoods or to make the city more walkable and bikable.

Maybe we need to relocate City Hall so officials discover that the rest of the city is need of transformation and amenities, not just those in the downtown.

posted by: TheMadcap on January 11, 2014  10:21pm


It’s hard to knock a plan that doesn’t exist. The 100 College St part of the plan certainly won’t, but the proposal put together for the former coliseum site is decent, but there’s no concrete ideas yet for the opposite side of the highway.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on January 12, 2014  9:42am

MadCap: I know what the neighborhood has asked for because I sat in on many meetings.
The word is that we’ll see more big buildings that empty out at night and whose scale is not conducive to repairing the rift created by Rte 34.
No ongoing jobs will be created for the talented people of the Dwight and HIll who are desperate for work.
As I"ve said before, politicians are lousy city planners.
I guess we should be grateful they haven’t created deliberate gridlock as was done in NJ. But on a morale level, they have.