Riverside Park Land Swap Between City and Ambassador Bridge Company

Will the deal go forward, and what does it mean?

WDET’s Sandra Svoboda meets with Christine Ferretti, city hall reporter at The Detroit News, and Amber Harvey, WDET special assignments team intern. They discuss the proposed land swap deal between the city and the Detroit International Bridge Company at Riverside Park. The key points:

  • Why the delay?: Ferretti says the vote on the proposal was delayed due to lingering unanswered questions about the deal, which would give some riverfront land to the bridge company, which wants to build a second span. In return, the bridge company would pay at least $3 million toward park renovations and improvements.
  • Contamination report: Harvey says Riverside Park has been largely unused since 2001 because the Detroit International Bridge Company placed a fence around some parkland, citing security concerns after 9/11. She talks about controversial reports of illegally installed utilities on the site and says the city council is waiting on a report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to make the final vote.
  • Yea or Nay?: According to Ferretti, citizens in favor of the land swap deal want Riverside Park to be open and available for their use and want the guaranteed $3 million to rejuvenate it. She says those who oppose the deal doubt the integrity of the Detroit International Bridge Company. She says they think the agreement would force the city to support the construction of a second span in future decades.

To hear the complete conversation, click the audio link above.