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The City is located on the northern shore of the Long Island Sound, approximately 60 miles northeast of New York City and 60 miles southwest of Hartford. The City is the cross roads of one of the best land, sea, rail and air transportation systems in the State. State Routes 8 and 25, with their links to Interstates 84 and 91, merge with 95 in downtown Bridgeport. Bridgeport Harbor is one of three deep-water ports in Connecticut; its 35- foot deep channels and anchorages can accommodate most ocean-going vessels involved with international trade and shipping. Amtrak and Metro-North provide passenger service to the City from the downtown Transportation Center, and Conrail operates a major freight yard within a quarter-mile of the Port of Bridgeport. The Sikorsky Memorial Airport is a City-owned and operated general aviation facility that is located in Stratford, Connecticut, ten minutes from downtown.
The City is a major medical, legal, industrial, financial and entertainment center. Two medical centers provide for many of the health care needs of the Grater Bridgeport area. Federal, State and County courthouses are located within the central business district. Corporate and regional business offices are located downtown, including the principal office of the largest Connecticut-based bank, People’s United Bank. Major employers residing within the City’s boundaries include Bridgeport Hospital, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, People’s United Bank, Sikorsky Aircraft, the University of Bridgeport and Bridgeport Health Care Center. The City, long a major manufacturing center, remains the home of many manufacturing companies. These companies typically exploit new technologies and occupy unique market niches.
The Greater Bridgeport area hosts four institutions of higher learning: the University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, Sacred Heart University, and Housatonic Community College. These educational institutions provide the City’s corporate and business communities with skilled personnel and enhance the area’s cultural and community activities. Housatonic Community College, located in the heart of the City’s central business district, has been a fast growing community college in New England.
Bridgeport is also the home of numerous attractions that enhance the City’s economic fortunes. The Barnum Museum showcases the life and times of former City Mayor and renowned showman, P.T. Barnum. The Ballpark at Harboryard and The Area at Harboryard brings hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the City’s Downtown area to watch minor league baseball, minor league hockey, college basketball, college hockey, concerts and other shows. The Beardsley Zoo is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the State. The Discovery Museum, located in the north end of the City, offers interactive science and space displays.
The City has a Mayor-City Council form of government. The Mayor is the chief executive officer of the City and serves a 4-year term. The City Council, which acts as the City's legislative bond, consists of twenty members elected for two year terms.
As Bridgeport Harbor drifts further from its industrial roots and into a future defined more by entertainment and residential uses, development of a new boatyard on the former Derecktor Shipyard site is likely to play a key role.