On Monday, state leaders announced they are investing $2.6 million dollars into the redevelopment of Middletown's waterfront to fully utilize the Connecticut River.
That's on top of money and resources the city has put forward, much of which has been approved by taxpayers.
It’s expected to be a long process, but they're hoping to create a bustling riverfront economy. The redevelopment committee hopes to eventually quadruple the amount of economic activity on the river.
As of now, Middletown is prepping the river for development.The city is spending $53 million to rebuild sewers, allowing leaders to decommission and remove a sewage treatment plant on the riverfront.
The committee's recommendations for the redevelopment include a public walkway, bike path and expansion of the boat house.
Middletown is already is bringing concerts down to the waterfront, and has improved lighting in Harbor Park.
Daniel Cronin, the owner of the Mattabesett Canoe Club, which is located on the riverfront, is excited about the plans.
"In four years, I've seen foot traffic increase three-fold," said Cronin. "The more people realize this is here, it's a safe place to come and fun place to come, traffic will increase."
"I imagine a family 50, 100, 200 years out in the future, standing where we are today enjoying an entirely different view, enjoying an entirely different vista,” said Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew, “because we came together as a community and as a state right now to build it."
The city expects the waste treatment plant will be decommissioned and removed by 2017.