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Construction on the National Coast Guard Museum in New London could start soon

U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets conduct a regimental review Oct. 24, 2020.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Hunter Medley
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadets conduct a regimental review Oct. 24, 2020.

Construction on the long-awaited National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut, could start this summer.

Wes Pulver, the museum association president, told the New London City Council this week that they were now in a position financially to begin phase one of the construction.

Mayor Mike Passero said after years of promises he’s relieved it's finally happening.

“The longer the project lingered in the Twilight Zone it was in, the more people were skeptical that it was ever going to get built,” Passero said. “But as you can tell from the renaissance, if you will, of downtown New London, the redevelopment of the central business district, we’ll never know for sure but a lot of that investment, a lot of that activity, notwithstanding COVID, I think is an outgrowth of the prospect of this museum coming to New London.”

Construction is set to begin at City Pier after the city hosts its annual Sailfest event in early July.

Passero said much of the city’s waterfront plaza will still be open and available, despite some local businesses' concerns.

“City Pier will still be open,” he said. “The floating docks will still be open. And they’re going to preserve our use of the remaining portion of the plaza. And of course all of the rest of the waterfront and the downtown will be unaffected by this phase of the construction. For the summer of 2022, the impacts will not be that great.”

The museum also is poised to receive a boost if Congress includes $50 million in the next homeland security funding bill for the project.

The project still needs permits from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.