Efforts to complete a recreational development project along Detroit's east riverfront are getting a $44 million boost from the federal government and the state.
The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy on Monday announced new partnerships and a series of construction projects, including the redevelopment of Mount Elliott Park, improvements at Gabriel Richard Park and expanding the reach of the Detroit RiverWalk.
Officials say the project is getting $29 million in federal highway money and a $15 million investment by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The project includes work at a site once home to a Uniroyal tire factory.
The centerpiece of development efforts has been the RiverWalk promenade.
For decades, Detroit's east riverfront had been identified with dilapidated, vacant factories and old manufacturing sites.
Specific enhancements planned for Mt. Elliott Park include:
- Playscape elements: sound chimes, drum seats and drum tables, wind chimes, cattail spinners, water cannons
- Water elements: water access, stream delta and water bubblers
- Landscape elements such as ornamental trees and shrubs, grasses and natural stone, canopy trees and seating on natural stone, and LED lighting
- Paving elements: colored concrete and exposed aggregate concrete pavement.
Gabriel Richard Park, an under-utilized gem along the riverfront, will receive the following improvements:
- A new parking lot and pathways to make the park more accessible
- Sustainable design principles and education will allow for rainwater to be captured and redirected to garden beds and provide benefits to wildlife
- A pedestrian-bicycle pathway connecting the riverfront to Jefferson Avenue
Illumination of the meditative labyrinth