A key connecting piece to the Riverwalk is officially under construction. A groundbreaking ceremony was held at the Uniroyal site, which will extend the Riverwalk. Pedestrians and bikers will be able to traverse from Mt. Elliott Park to Belle Isle without heading up to Jefferson. It will also be easier to get to Gabriel Richard Park on the other side of the Belle Isle Bridge.
The extension is expected to be completed in Fall 2022.
This will create 3.5 miles of Riverwalk along the East Riverfront. The project is expected to cost $11 million. GM has invested $2.5 million to this extension.
The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, the City of Detroit, the Michigan Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency are leading the extension project.
“For decades, the Uniroyal site has been synonymous with industrial contamination and inaccessibility to our waterfront,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “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, which continues to be cited as one of the best in the world.”
The plant at the site was built in 1906, with expansions after as the tire industry grew. The site was home to a Uniroyal plant until 1980; it was demolished in 1985. Remediation had to be completed on the land before work could start.
This will be a busy year for the Riverfront Conservancy. Construction is expected to start at the Ralph C. Wilson Centennial Park, which is expected to become a major destination for residents and visitors. A greenway will take shape from that park and into Corktown, near the Ford Campus. In the future, greenways will link all the way to the new Gordie Howe International Bridge.