The National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Conn., is a $19 million step closer to becoming a reality thanks to the Connecticut State Bond Commission. In anticipation of the $10 million annual economic impact and estimated 300,000 visitors each year, the forthcoming National Coast Guard Museum received on April 13, $19.5 million of the $20 million the state had pledged to it. The state previously released $500,000 to support the preliminary design phase.
“In addition to honoring the devoted men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard, the new national Museum represents a great economic development opportunity for our state,” said Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy in a statement. “It adds to the growing list of things to see and do in southeastern Connecticut and will provide a major boost to the local economy. Approval of this funding demonstrates the state’s unwavering commitment to this project and brings the City of New London one very important step closer to hosting this national attraction.”
The funds will support the construction of a pedestrian bridge that will guide visitors over the railroad tracks to the National Coast Guard Museum along the New London waterfront. The elevated walkway also offers handicapped access over the tracks to the waterfront park, trains, Long Island, N.Y., ferries and public walkways along the river.
State funding is welcomed at this time to ensure concurrent planning, design development and completion of the project. The museum association is accelerating progress of the design of the overall museum.
Once constructed, the 75,000-square-foot museum will have interactive learning exhibits for all ages. Heritage galleries and exhibits will focus on Coast Guard accomplishments and the STEM Discovery Center will enrich the visitors’ educational experience.