Work Starts On Final Stretch Of Detroit's East Riverwalk

DETROIT (AP) — Work has started to complete the final stretch of a walking and biking path along Detroit’s east riverfront.

That section running 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) is expected to be completed in the fall of 2022 and link the Detroit Riverwalk to MacArthur Bridge that crosses the Detroit River to Belle Isle park, according to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy.

“When we started transforming the riverfront 20 years ago, we had an ambitious vision and our promise was to connect the entire east riverfront,” said Matt Cullen, Riverfront Conservancy chair. “This final piece along the east riverfront is a lasting gift to the generations who live, work and visit Detroit and critical to our long-term vision of revitalization from bridge to bridge.”

The conservancy also hopes to extend the Riverwalk another two miles (3.2 kilometers) west of downtown to the Ambassador Bridge.

The $11 million project to complete the East Riverwalk extends along the site of a former Uniroyal tire plant. The factory was torn down in 1985.

“For decades, the Uniroyal site has been synonymous with industrial contamination and inaccessibility to our waterfront,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “Thanks to the cleanup efforts that have taken place and the great work of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, future generations will know this stretch as one of the most beautiful sections of Detroit’s international waterfront.”

General Motors Corp. is contributing $2.5 million to help complete the East Riverwalk. The automaker built the first section of the Riverwalk in 2003 while renovating the company’s downtown headquarters in the Renaissance Center.

The Troy-based Kresge Foundation made a $50 million matching grant in 2002 for the riverfront’s transformation. Another $110 million in philanthropic support followed.

Detroit’s riverfront attracts 3.5 million visitors annually, according to the Riverfront Conservancy. The nonprofit manages the Riverwalk and raises money for construction, operation and security of public spaces along the river.