New London Bike-way Program

In 2017, New London developed bike-friendly routes throughout the city in an effort to cut down on congestion and provide healthy transportation options for New London residents and visitors. Signage has been erected at key locations around the city which guide bikers along the planned route. A total of 210 signs, more than 400 “sharrows” and three kiosks direct cyclists along the route.

The New London Bike Plan is designed to connect with the regional network of bike routes current being planned by the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments. The New London bike system connects with the regional network near the Gold Star Memorial Bridge at Bailey Circle in Hodges Square. The New London network runs from Connecticut College, through downtown and into Ocean Beach Park. Information booths with maps of the New London bike network are located at Ocean Beach Park, Union Station and Bailey Circle. A draft of the regional bike plan is available online at

Downtown Traffic & Parking
Improvement Plan

The City of New London implemented a new traffic pattern on Bank Street between Tilley Street and State Street.

The new traffic design eases congestion and aggressive driving, better facilitates on-street parking, increase pedestrian safety, promotes development, and improves the image of the central Bank Street business district.

Bank Street was restriped between Tilley and State Streets to enable a shared bicycle lane with one (1) traffic/travel lane, as well as create “buffer” areas so passengers can safely exit their vehicles without disrupting traffic flow.


Municipal Parking Lots

In July 2016, the City of New London embarked on an ambitious project to redesign and construct two municipal parking lots along Eugene O’Neill Drive which back up to Bank Street, one of the City’s main commercial thoroughfares.

The new lots feature several innovative design and functioning elements.  These include center islands serving as “rain garden” storm water collection basins, the use of “Silva cells” (sub-grade plastic cages) to provide a healthy growing environment for newly planted trees, classically styled brick entry nodes, and the addition of decorative lighting fixtures that match existing lighting designs along Bank and State Street, serving to visually connect the parking lot with area commercial establishments.

Construction of the lots is complete. Hanging flower baskets have been installed to match with the adjacent city downtown district design. Future installation of artwork at the entrance at the intersection of Pearl Street and Eugene O’Neill Drive completed the project!


Green Harbor Beach Flood Control and Park Enlargement

Historically,  intense weather events, Green Harbor Park and Beach flooded, creating a safety hazard and damaging the infrastructure of the Park and Beach. This is caused by the immense volume of storm-water that previously flowed from a large watershed area across from the Amtrak tracks, from which water flows across the park’s surface, onto the road, into two catch basins, and eventually made its way to one 24” outfall pipe situated in the midst of Green Harbor Beach.

Utilizing $1.5 million in Federal grant funds administered by the Connecticut Department of Housing, and municipal funds, the City designed and constructed a completely new drainage system that begins channeling storm-water adjacent to the railroad tracks and routes it through a series of chambers, which intersect with a new series of catch basins along both sides of Pequot Avenue, and channel it all through a 48” submerged pipe extending into the river along the northern edge of the beach.

Less than half of the existing property was previously usable for Park activities. The remainder was a saturated boggy area with highly organic soil that never dried out and as a result could not support healthy tree growth. Part of the project’s construction involved removing the boggy material, replacing with ideal drain-able soil, and seeding. This more than doubled the property’s usable space, and created impressive vistas of the beach, nearby marinas and river.

Installing new piping in Pequot Avenue, while accommodating the complex maze of existing utilities (water/gas/sewer) without disruption, was a major planning and logistical challenge. At one point, the new 48” pipe was installed more than eight feet below grade and under sewer lines, while contending with unstable soils groundwater and river water.

L.E.D. Streetlight Conversion

In 2016, Public Works administered the conversion of 2200 HPS (High Pressure Sodium) “Cobra Head” style streetlights, and 388 Decorative streetlights, to LED (Light Emitting Diode) fixtures. This initiative, funded through a $1.2 million bond, includes $426,000 in rebates from Eversource , and an annual reduction of more than a million kwh/hr., resulting in an estimated $175,000 annual savings in cost of electricity. L.E.D.s emit a more natural light color, and illuminate a more general area, resulting in increased safety and quality of life.

Rendering of previous H.P.S. lighting.

Rendering of new L.E.D. lighting.

Ocean Avenue Reconstruction

In 2015/2016, the City applied for and was awarded a LOTCIP (Local Transportation Capital Improvement) grant to completely reconstruct Ocean Avenue between Niles Hill Road and Neptune Avenue, estimated at a cost of $2,162,999.40. The State DOT has approved the City’s design and authorized contract award.

The project has been completed and is certified for a minimum service life of 20 years.



Riverside Park

The Riverside Park property was given to the City in 1907. Throughout the 20th Century, it saw periods of active recreational use, as well as periods of decline. An article in The Day in July, 1968 summed this up well, stating that “The Park, which many persons do not even know exists, is a controversial area, having both its bad reputation and some of the greatest natural beauty of any section of New London.”

In 2018, City Public Works began a rejuvenation of the park using appropriated bond funds. The initial major effort was to clear and trim the massive amount of trees that had grown unchecked for dozens of years, blocking views of the river and creating a dark, foreboding aura to the property. Work progressed from the dense rows of trees on the tiny piece of land across the railroad tracks, in sections all the way to the upper layers of the park. The resulting feeling accentuates the natural distinct levels of the park’s topography, offers breathtaking views of the river, and gives the entire property a refreshingly open and inviting atmosphere.

Other improvements include installation of a pavilion on the upper level, resurfacing of the basketball courts, creation of five parking areas framed by timber fencing, protective drainage around the playscape, installation of nine additional picnic table areas, installation of solar/wind powered combination LED lighting/personal device power stations, and creation of a walking trail.

The dangerous bathhouse on the lower level was removed, while the structure’s base was retained to accommodate a still to be determined public recreational format. The base of Adelaide Street was opened and sidewalk/handicapped vehicle access to the lower promenade was begun.

2020 saw design and construction of appropriate amenities to the lower promenade area, as well as installation of a gazebo in the middle level glade.

Shaw’s Cove Steel Pile Wall Reconstruction

A corrugated  metal retaining wall in Shaw’s Cove was installed in 1976 as a critical infrastructure component in the City’s Flood Control Plan. It includes a Cathotic Protection system that deteriorates with salt water and wave action to act as a guide to determine when the wall needs to be replaced.

Based on the condition of the Cathodic system, in 2016 the City applied for and received a $160,000 grant funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and administered through the State of Connecticut Department of Housing to perform engineering studies to accurately ascertain the condition of the wall and to prepare bid documents for its repair. GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. has completed technical on-site analysis and is preparing an assessment report with recommendations on repair and maintenance options.

Toby May Basketball/Tennis/Handball Courts

Basketball and tennis courts at Toby May Park have been completely reconstructed and resurfaced.  A new handball court has been constructed at the direction of the Parks and Recreation Commission.

With proper and responsible use, the courts will provide quality recreational service for years to come.  The City has already been contacted by the New England Handball Association, which has expressed interest in holding regional handball clinics and competitions here.


City of New London Urban Forestry Revitalization Plan and Invasive Species Best Management

The City of New London received a grant from America the Beautiful Forestry Grants to compile a comprehensive survey of New London current stock (species, age, condition, location, etc.) and produce a plan for revitalization.  Under this project Connecticut College volunteers utilized field-gathering equipment to produce the inventory, under the direction of the Public Works Department. (View the study here) The City of New London Urban Forestry Revitalization Plan project is resulting in implementation of a state-of-the-art urban forestry makeover for the City.

Attached is a link to the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group and list of invasive plants.



Veteran’s Field Renovation

Veteran’s Field served as a key recreational center during the mid-20th century, including the venue for New London High School games. In recent years it served as the staging area for portable educational buildings and then lay fallow, unable to be easily upgraded because it sat on the site of an ancient landfill. The renovation project, which includes fields and associated infrastructure, including a clubhouse with restrooms, was completed in early 2019.

Bartlett Park Basketball Court Reconstruction

Bartlett Park Basketball courts are located on Broad Street in the center of the city. The current location and conguration came about when the courts at the corner of Broad Street and Connecticut Avenue had to be relocated to accommodate construction of the North Fire Station.

The project scope included replacement of existing playing surface and backboards/hoops and support poles. Previous courts were not full regulation size. The new court conguration is regulation 50’ x 94’, and spun 90 degress to fit within the property. Court coloring is custom New London colors, matching courts recently constructed at Toby May Park.

Additional amenities include installation of players’ benches around the courts and construction of two patio areas to the include eight picni tables, two of which are ADA accessible. Access to restrooms and water fountain at the Fire House are also provided.

A new sidewalk connects the courts to the recently restored Broad Street sidewalk.

Bank Street Repaving and Decorative Stamping

In 2017, the City redesigned traffic flow on Bank Street from Tilley to State Street to facilitate one through traffic lane, and add 4 foot “buffers” on either side of the street to permit vehicle passengers to exist their vehicles without disrupting traffic.

Each year, the City has painted buffer lines and traffic markings along the route. In 2023, Eversource Gas finished extensive installation and replacement of gas lines on Bank Street. This allowed the City to mill and pave the road surface. Once this work was complete, the City engaged a specialized contractor to install decorative stamping into the fresh asphalt in the buffer and parking delineation areas. This attractive feature will last the life of the pavement, and lends an appropriate “cobble stone” feel to one of the City’s key historic streets.

City of New London Marina Parking Lot

The City has constructed a new state-of-the-art municipal parking lot off Pequot Avenue to serve the increasingly popular “Marina District.” Amenities include wireless payment transaction, “blue light” security stations, and Electric Vehicle (EV) charging. A sustainable storm water treatment system filters stormwater from the lot’s surface.

The previous lot included a significant amount of invasive species and overgrown trees. Those have been removed, and a variety of native plants and site appropriate trees have been installed. Wood fencing around the permiter provides sound and headlight glare protection.

Fire Headquarters Truss Roof

The City of New London Fire Headquarters is a two-story brick masonry structure constructed in 1939., and built with a flat roof with masonry parapet walls. Since the 1990’s the building has experienced constant leaking from the roof. In 2002, the built up tar and gravel surface was replaced with a membrane style surface. This did not perform as expected. Beyond the challenges of utilizing a flat roof membrane system in New England’s harsh weather conditions, connecting areas such as seams, flashing, masonry walls and joints were constantly failing. The membrane itself was constantly being “attacked” by bored seagulls finding comfort pecking away at membrane seams.

The City took the innovative step of considering installing a peaked “truss roof” over the existing structure. The key was finding a contractor with the knowledge and confidence to properly reinforce the existing parapet walls to secure the new roof in high wind conditions, and design trusses sloped appropriately to the need. A seondary value of the new concept was the ability to sheath the roof with standing rib metal panels with a 75 year life expectancy.

The new roof is fully functioning as expected, and along with subsequent improvements throughout the facility, have given a new life and attractive appearance to a key component in New London’s safety efforts.

Williams Street Improvements

In 2019 the City was awarded a State TAP (Transportations Alternative Project) grant to fund improvements to Williams Street from the Waterford town line south approximately 4300 linear feet to the intersection with Gordon Court in Hodges Square. Improvements included installation of Decorative Crosswalks, Gateway Plaza, Decorative Raised intersection, Landscaping, and Ornamental Lighting.

The project was completed Summer 2022.

Multi-Use Paths

The City of New London constructed a multi-use combined impervious Pedestrian and Bike Path Trail extending from Customs House Pier to behind Shaw’s Landing Condominiums. This project is the initial phase of a plan that will enable walking and bike paths connecting City Pier to Fort Trumbull.

The City utilized separate grants from the State of Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for design and implementation of the project. In addition to concrete walkways and decorative fencing, the City incorporated seven RPU (Remote Power Units) along the walkways that are solar and wind powered and provide L.E.D. lighting and charging stations for residents and visitors.