The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Michigan Central invited community residents for a sneak peek of the Southwest Greenway on Wednesday, November 16. Guests enjoyed free hot chocolate, tacos, churros and the opportunity to see all the progress connecting the riverfront to the Corktown, Hubbard-Richard and Southwest Detroit neighborhoods.
The event took place outside the Bagley Mobility Hub at the Southwest Greenway trailhead, which is located at 2209 Bagley Street in Detroit. Representatives from the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and Michigan Central were on hand to greet attendees and give updates on construction progress to date.
In addition to being among the first to experience the greenway before it opens and to catch a glimpse of the work that still needs to be done, guests learned about the transformation of the Michigan Central site.
The $8 million Southwest Greenway will provide a non-motorized below-grade paved trail running from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park on West Jefferson to Bagley Street and the Michigan Central project. The Conservancy and its partners broke ground on the almost mile-long project in April of this year. The Greenway will be open for people to use later this winter, with a grand opening celebration that will take place in spring 2023.
“The Southwest Greenway will make it really easy for residents of Mexicantown, Corktown and Southwest Detroit to get to the riverfront,” said Mark Wallace, president and CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. “People are excited about this, and the preview was a great opportunity to see what the greenway will look like when it is completed. We are thrilled to partner with Michigan Central on this project and excited to hear their updates.”
Michigan Central has committed $5 million to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy for the Southwest Greenway.
“We’re excited to show Detroit some of the incredible public spaces Michigan Central and Detroit Riverfront Conservancy have been working on to deliver in the coming months, said Clarinda Barnett-Harrison, Director of Skills at Michigan Central. Michigan Central is committed to the advancement of
Detroit’s physical realm in the form of adding new quality public space, various amenities and services on-site, creating accessible programming and funding for the surrounding residents and small businesses, supporting the work of local artists, and bringing new cutting-edge mobility solutions to the region, with more exciting updates to come in 2023.
Michigan Central is a hub for advancing new technologies and programs that address barriers to greater social, economic and physical mobility. Building on Detroit’s rich history as an engine of change, the transformative Michigan Central project aims to strengthen the city’s existing fabric of community and electrify its economy, while inspiring collective action on the most pressing challenges at the intersection of mobility and society worldwide.
Additional partners involved in bringing the greenway vision to fruition include the City of Detroit, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Michigan DNR and Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Michigan Department of Transportation and the Walters Family Foundation.
The Southwest Greenway is a key part of the Joe Louis Greenway, a 27.5-mile greenway in Detroit that will provide the community with greater connectivity throughout the city, as well as access to the riverfront. Southwest Greenway and Joe Louis Greenway are a part of 160 miles of greenways in southeast Michigan.
Work is currently underway at Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Centennial Park, a 22-acre park located on the West Riverfront. The future Ralph Wilson Park is one of the most significant projects on the horizon for the Conservancy and a major step forward in completing its goal of developing 5.5 miles of revitalized riverfront. It will dramatically change the landscape along the downtown riverfront, and it is expected to boost economic benefit in the area as well.
Named the Best Riverwalk in America by USA TODAY in 2021 and 2022, the Detroit Riverfront attracts 3.5 million visitors annually. The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy has invested more than $200 million in the revitalization of the Detroit Riverfront, which in turn has generated more than $2 billion in public and private investment.