NEW BEDFORD - Mayor Jon Mitchell and local elected officials were joined by Governor Charlie Baker and Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack Wednesday for the official opening of the city's newest south end waterfront path, the CoveWalk. 

The 5,500-foot walkway sits atop the hurricane barrier on the western side of the south end peninsula, opposite of the 3,400-foot HarborWalk on the east side that was opened in 2015.

While the HarborWalk was funded with city money, the CoveWalk was made possible by $5 million in state grant funding administered by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.

Mitchell said the project wouldn't be such a success without a positive professional relationship between the city and state.

"It can't happen without a strong state and city partnership," Mitchell said. "The planning comes from the city, the resources come from the state, and the two don't link up unless there's a common understanding about the return on investment and, more specifically, the benefit to the public."

New Bedford's CoveWalk. Greg Desrosiers/TSM

Pollack said building walkways atop the city's hurricane barrier is a great way of creating a multi-purpose use of public infrastructure.

"This is a great example of taking a piece of infrastructure, critically important piece of infrastructure, and giving it more than one purpose and using it to connect rather than separate," said Pollack.

Baker also added that the CoveWalk is only one of many investments currently being made in the Whaling City.

"I think in some ways this project, from our point of view, was a great way for us to invest in this part of the city of New Bedford but it comes along with a series of investments that the Commonwealth is making in collaboration with the city," Baker said.

Additional investment includes State Pier, SouthCoast Terminal and multiple capital improvement projects.

The CoveWalk provides ocean views of Clark's Cove and is open for walking, running and biking.

Both walkways are part of a growing designation of waterfront paths called The Blue Lane, which will provide ocean views as well as connect local parks. The Blue Lane will eventually connect the city from north to south.

Panoramic view of New Bedford's new CoveWalk. Greg Desrosiers/TSM