DETROIT—Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Detroit as a winner for $10 million in TIGER federal grant funding towards improving on-foot and on-wheel transportation connections within the city.
“Today’s announcement is a major boost to plans that will improve residents’ access to key destinations,” Sen. Carl Levin said Tuesday in a press release.
The federal money will partially fund a number of initiatives that are all part of Link Detroit, a multi-modal enhancement plan put forth by the city.
One initiative within the plan set to receive a large chunk of the funding is the Dequindre Cut Greenway, a foot- and bike-path connecting the Eastern Market, Midtown Loop and the Detroit RiverWalk—which completed its first phase three years ago.
With the additional TIGER funding, Detroit can begin the next phase of the Dequindre Cut Greenway, which seeks to extend and connect the current trail north two miles to the City of Hamtramck.
“A lot of people go from Midtown to Hamtramck, and vice versa,” says Sue Mosey, president of Midtown Detroit, Inc. “There’s a big connection between the two neighborhoods, especially with students living in Hamtramck.”
A large goal for the project is to forge a continuous greenway connecting the riverfront to Eastern Market, Midtown and up to the Medical Center—all the way to Brush Park.
Link Detroit’s other infrastructure changes also include bridge reconstruction over the Dequindre Cut and streetscape improvements in Eastern Market.
“We really want to encourage people to walk or ride their bikes between the core Midtown area and Eastern market,” Mosey says. “That way, people can hop right on the cut and come right down.”
The only problem (a good one) Link Detroit faces now is paring down project costs by a third—due to a planned $15 million budget verses the awarded $10 million.
“It’s critical,” adds Mosey, “with all the young folks moving in through these neighborhoods, we have to make it easy for them to navigate through.”
Link Detroit and its planners now will enter the final stages of planning where final plans are proposed and put out for bids.
Construction is slated to begin within the year.