A Partnership for A Renewed Riverfront and a Reinvented Detroit

July 24, 2012

When Antoine Cadillac, the founder of Detroit, wrote of the Detroit River and the region around it, he said, "This country, so temperate, so fertile, and so beautiful that it may justly be called the earthly paradise of North America." Thanks to an incredible private-public partnership, the Detroit riverfront will again be a place of beauty for all to enjoy.

Yesterday, Governor Rick Snyder joined with Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, U.S. Senator Carl Levin, Detroit RiverFront Conservancy President Faye Nelson and other leaders for a groundbreaking at Mt. Elliott Park to mark the final construction phases of the east riverfront. When completed, the RiverWalk, green spaces, plazas and parks from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park, just east of the Belle Isle Bridge, will all be connected.

Governor Snyder had this to say about the project:

"It's a win for all Michiganders. The riverfront in Detroit coming back is a great thing for the citizens of Detroit and for all Michiganders. I encourage anyone in our state to come down and enjoy the experience. I'm looking forward to going for a bike ride myself one of these days."

In addition to connecting the east riverfront, other projects include: substantial improvements to Gabriel Richard Park; a complete redevelopment of Mt. Elliott Park including shoreline improvement, new plaza, pavilion, a water feature and playscape; and construction of connecting RiverWalk and associated amenities on parcels of land to the east and west of Chene Park and the Uniroyal site (once remediation is completed).The project is being made possible in part by a $29 million Federal Highway appropriation administered by the Michigan Department of Transportation and a $15 million investment by the Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The effort to make the riverfront a better place to be is part of a broader effort to create the kind of environment where businesses want to locate and workers want to live. Governor Snyder explained in his Special Message on Talent Development:

"We must not only have meaningful job options but also create and expand places where workers, entrepreneurs and businesses want to locate, invest and expand. As job creators provide increased employment opportunities, quality of place initiatives can supplement job growth and encourage talent attraction and retention."

For too long, the land along the Detroit River has been a lost opportunity. No more. As Governor Snyder said, "From what was a lost opportunity, there is success, and we should be proud of that."

- by Mike Brownfield, Director of Social Media for Governor Rick Snyder