Highland Park, Mich. (FOX 2) – The next phase of the Joe Louis Greenway begins along a dirt path in Highland Park.
The 1.6-mile stretch will travel through historic communities and create snaking trails intended to connect neighborhoods around the city. Longtime resident Carlton Clyburn Jr. couldn’t stop laughing at the progress.
“I’ve seen it from the beginning. When they took the fist out of Joe Louis, and they brought down the Joe Louis Arena. Here we are with something that will keep the name alive,” he said.
He said the city is developing well, and the greenway is a spark that residents are excited to see.
Once complete, the 27-mile route will be made up of paved trails that stretch from the Dequindre Cut and Riverwalk on Detroit’s east side to Jefferson and Dearborn, before heading north along Michigan Avenue to Warren Avenue.
From there, it will head down the Grand River before heading to Highland Park and Hamtram.
Residents are looking at a new way to get around the city by bike and foot. The city sees a way to carve out bad luck. Environmentalists are excited by the expanded green space while businesses hope to see money flow into the community.
Atlanta’s Beltline and San Antonio’s Riverwalk have both brought in billions, and Detroit hopes to see the same.
Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison said, “I want everyone to really take a look at what we’re going to transform. If Mayor Duggan was here, he would definitely say it’s on the line from ugly to beautiful.”
Construction of the greenway begins in 2021. Much progress has been made in the past year, with $20 million in American Recovery Plan funding from the Biden administration. While much remains to be done, it has already excited area residents and leaders.
More: Detroit has begun pouring concrete on the Joe Louis Greenway, a 27-mile paved path
“As a member of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, I know it’s important for people to rebuild it and have places to ride bikes, to push children in their strollers, to walk along great trails,” said Wayne County Commissioner Alisha Bell.