The Dequindre Cut Extension officially opened last week and, if fanfare for an 800-foot-long walking and biking path seems undue, consider what it connects: the Dequindre Cut Greenway on one end and Miliken State Park and Harbor on the other.
"The Extension is helping this area to become more walkable to the extent that (it) provides another connection, an absolutely vital link, from the river, essentially to Eastern Market," says Faye Nelson, president of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy
, the organization that maintains and programs the Dequindre Cut and Detroit RiverWalk.
The Extension runs between Woodbridge and Atwater streets. It features a paved path for bicycles and pedestrians, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles, landscaping, lighting and security features. It was designed by Mannik Smith Group and constructed by WCI Contractors, Inc. The $1 million cost was picked up by the Detroit Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the City of Detroit.
During the opening ceremonies on June 10, the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy unveiled a set of colorful banners designed by local school children through collaboration with the College for Creative Studies' Community Arts Partnerships and funding from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan. The children selected themes of Unity, Create, Play and Inspire; some have been installed while the rest will go up when construction on the Larned and Lafayette bridges that run over the Cut is complete.
As part of its overall plans for the area, the EDC is also reconstructing Atwater Street between Rivard and Dequindre streets to include on-street parking and a dedicated bike lane. As a result, the parking lot at Rivard Plaza is currently closed.
Source: Faye Nelson, DFRC
Writer: Kelli B. Kavanaugh