Work to Connect Detroit’s East Riverwalk to Belle Isle Underway

Once completed, the new stretch will connect Gabriel Richard Park on the east side of the MacArthur Bridge to the Renaissance Center.

The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy broke ground Wednesday on a new stretch of the East Riverwalk. The ceremony took place at the former site of the Uniroyal tire plant.

Project officials say the City of Detroit helped secure the 42-acre site, which has sat vacant since the tire factory closed in 1980 and the plant was demolished five years later.

“One day you’re going to be able to walk from bridge to bridge in this city.” –Mike Duggan, Detroit Mayor

Matt Cullen is the chairman of the board for the Riverfront Conservancy. He says work on the new stretch of walkway will be completed by the end of 2022.

“This final connection across the Uniroyal site allows us now to come from the Renaissance Center, Eastern Market, all the way to Belle Isle as a final link to a system of trails across the riverfront that has and will improve the quality of life for Detroiters,” he says.

Officials say the East Riverwalk will go as far as Gabriel Richard Park on the east side of the Belle Isle bridge. Mayor Mike Duggan say the long-term goal is to extend the Riverwalk west, eventually connecting to the Ambassador Bridge.

“This is going to be a huge step forward to the vision that we all have,” says Duggan, “that one day you’re going to be able to walk from bridge to bridge in this city — enjoying the entire length of the Detroit Riverfront.”

Project officials say construction at the Uniroyal site will finish by the end of next year. No timeline has been given for building out the West Riverwalk.

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  • Alex McLenon
    Alex McLenon is a Reporter with 101.9 WDET. McLenon is a graduate of Wayne State University, where he studied Media Arts & Production and Broadcast Journalism.