NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven leaders are redeveloping and expanding Long Wharf Park, a destination for thousands of people every day.  

The area is known for its waterfront and food trucks, but bigger plans are on the horizon.   

“Wow, they’re really trying to expand! That is an amazing thing!” said Giovanni Preciado of New Haven.  

City leaders say they’re still in the design stage, but upgrades include a pavilion, space for vendors and a farmers’ market, and a waterfront pathway. It’s thanks to $12 Million in state funding.  

“We’ve got the highway exit, so [we’re] maintaining the roadway to the south of the highway. Once you get passed the highway, the roadway will close,” New Haven City Engineer Giovanni Zinn said.  

“[We’ll] expand the space for outdoor activities there, increasing some of the parking because that’s a challenge, organize some of the trucks, and then add some additional infrastructure,” New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker said.    

City leaders say the project will be in multiple phases, but the food trucks are expected to remain open during construction.  

“That’s a very good idea. I mean, it’s very good for us,” said Ernesto Marin, who owns a taco truck along Long Wharf.  

Marin says business is picking up after he lost 40 percent of the revenue during the pandemic. He approves of the city’s plans.

“We will get a lot more people from other towns coming over. You know, this is a good business area,” Marin said.  

Leaders say they hope to start the first phase of construction in 2024. It’s unclear when the project will be complete. 

The project is part of larger development in the area. More than 300 apartments are expected to go up near the Maritime Center. There are also plans to demolish the old Gateway College building on the other side of I-95 to create space for job training and development.