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Construction begins on Riverwalk at old Uniroyal site; to connect Detroit Riverfront with Belle Isle

Detroit Landscape
Posted at 12:13 PM, May 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-12 12:13:01-04

DETROIT — Construction is now underway on the final piece of the east Detroit Riverfront. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and its partners broke ground Wednesday on the Riverwalk extension on the Uniroyal site.

The project is the final piece of the conservancy's 3.5-mile vision which will connect the Riverfront Parks with Belle Isle.

In 2003, the first section of the Detroit Riverwalk was built by GM in front of the Renaissance Center.

GM has now made a $2.5 million contribution to help complete the final section of the Riverwalk.

"When we started transforming the riverfront 20 years ago, we had an ambitious vision and our promise was to connect the entire East Riverfront,” Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Chair Matt Cullen said in a release. “Today, we are proud to break ground and deliver on that promise.

“For decades, the Uniroyal site has been synonymous with industrial contamination and inaccessibility to our waterfront,” said Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit. “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 Kresge Foundation made a $50 million matching grant in 2002 for the Riverfront, which was met with an additional $110 million in philanthropic support.

The site is the former Uniroyal plant which closed in 1980. It once employed 10,000 people.

It's expected to be complete by fall 2022.