Bob Duff

Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

April 9, 2021

Duff Announces $3 Million in State Bonding for Norwalk’s MLK Corridor Economic Development Initiative

NORWALK – Today, Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, State Representative Travis Simms, and Mayor Harry Rilling applauded a $3 million state grant for the Norwalk Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor project to bolster economic development, employment, education programs and housing. The project was placed on the agenda for the April 16 State Bond Commission meeting where it will be approved.

The MLK Corridor Initiative, focused on South Norwalk, has been convening for a two-year period to support increased economic activity to benefit the community and residents and to help solve some of the chronic problems that face urban areas, like unemployment, housing and education. Working in partnership with the MLK Corridor Initiative and the City of Norwalk, areas for infrastructure improvement and community investment have been identified by the group and public. These priority areas focus on enhanced mobility, connectivity and safety, including but not limited to crosswalk installations and sidewalk construction. In addition, streetscape improvements, including but not limited to neighborhood clean ups, public art, playground investment and an enhanced urban canopy. The funding will also be used to reconstruct a staircase to connect two sections of the neighborhood, which will support first and last mile connections to the train station. Lastly, the funding will support an investment in residential buildings, with a façade improvement program which will help to make improvements to the area.

“The Martin Luther King Jr. Corridor Initiative is an incredible collaboration between advocacy groups, community members and leaders from the public and private sectors to bolster our community through targeted and measured improvements.” Sen. Duff said. “Dr. King was a revered civil rights activist whose impact continues to this day. I want to thank Governor Lamont for his support of this project and the work of the Norwalk state delegation, the City of Norwalk, and the local South Norwalk residents that has made this possible so we continue the great work of the MLK Corridor Initiative and further the legacy of the leader who inspired its name.”

“I pulled together faith-based groups and leaders in the private and public sector in South Norwalk to form the MLK Corridor Initiative. Our group has been working hard to identify projects and plans for the area. This funding is going to help beautify the area and enhance economic activity for residents and the entire community,” Norwalk Mayor Harry W. Rilling said. “Senator Duff continues to be a real champion for all of Norwalk. I appreciate his voice and leadership representing us in Hartford, and for helping secure this much needed funding. Thank you Senator Duff, and thank you Governor Lamont, for your continued support of Norwalk.”

“A major contributor to the overall quality of life is the conditions and esthetics of surrounding neighborhoods,” Rep. Simms said. “This investment in the beautification of the MLK corridor sends a clear message that we care and are paying attention and providing the necessary resources to positively transform this important section of Norwalk.”

The MLK Corridors Initiative is a community planning and development program for qualifying communities with streets, avenues and boulevards named after Martin Luther King Jr. Across 41 states there are over 900 streets named after the civil rights leader, but these areas do not always reflect the opportunity their namesake fought for. This initiative serves to spur economic development in these areas through addressing key issues in housing, economic development, sustainability and education.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. on April 16, 2021 to approve the funding.