Midtown Detroit Inc., a nonprofit development company, has started construction on the $4.3 million final phase of the 3.5-mile walkway connecting Wayne State University, Detroit’s Midtown district, Eastern Market, and Detroit neighborhoods.
“The Midtown Greenway Loop will increase street life and vibrancy, linking anchor institutions, key cultural destinations, and the many venues where people live, work, go to school, do business, shop, eat, and play,” says Ned Staebler, vice president for economic development and the president and CEO of TechTown at Wayne State.
The non-motorized connector, expected to be completed in late summer or early fall of 2016, will link West Canfield and West Kirby streets along Cass Avenue. Concrete sidewalks will be installed, along with LED lighting and landscape improvements. Bike racks, benches, and drinking fountains will be added along the walkway.
The final phase of construction also involves the addition of nearly 4 miles of bicycle lanes along Cass Avenue to connect Detroit’s New Center and Midtown neighborhoods, along with the Detroit riverfront. The lanes will be striped within the existing roadway right-of-ways and will run on Cass Avenue from West Grand Boulevard to West Lafayette Boulevard, and then east on Washington Boulevard and south to Jefferson Avenue. The bike lanes will connect to the existing bike lanes on Atwater Street along the Detroit RiverWalk.
The bike lanes will be installed with an inductive loop in the pavement that is able to track the amount of bicyclists and pedestrians using the new infrastructure in real time.
Funding for the project comes from the state of Michigan’s Road Risks and Reserve Fund, federal transportation enhancement funds, and contributions from Wayne State, the Knight Foundation, Hudson-Webber Foundation, and Midtown Detroit Inc.