City unveils New Bedford Harbor Walk

A long-awaited project has finally been completed in New Bedford. (WJAR)

A long-awaited project has finally been completed in New Bedford.

The city unveiled its brand new Harbor Walk on Wednesday.

"This is a major city asset right here," said New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell.

It's an announcement a half a century in the making.

The quarter mile walkway connects the South End to the city's downtown, putting visitors atop New Bedford's hurricane barrier for the very first time.

"It looks fabulous. It looks fabulous from there," said Mitchell. "It looks fabulous from out at sea. It looks great. The view up here speaks for itself."

New Bedford had been cut off from the water for 50 years. Thanks to the barrier, it was the largest manmade structure on the East Coast.

But not anymore.

Now residents can see the sea.

"New Bedford exists because of the sea," said Mitchell. "New Bedford succeeds today because of the sea, and New Bedford will have a great future because of the sea."

The project had a budget of $2.3 million, which the mayor said was paid for by a combination of local, state, and federal funds.

It's also lit at night by more than 160 light fixtures.

Mitchell said there's not a walkway like it in America.

"These types of things aren't just for New York, or Boston, or well-heeled communities by the seaside," he said. "New Bedford deserves something just like this."

A second phase is expected to extend the pathway more than double its current size.

That project has been approved, but it is awaiting funding of roughly $3 million.

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