As the spring construction season gets underway, four new projects will bring Detroit’s riverfront parks and greenways closer to fulfilling their vision than ever before.
The projects include the opening of Atwater Beach, a major new attraction along the RiverWalk, and the beginning of work to push the RiverWalk across the long-desolate Uniroyal industrial site near Belle Isle.
Those and other projects will bring Detroit’s vision of a “bridge to bridge” recreational promenade, first announced many years ago by then-Mayor Coleman A. Young, several steps closer to fulfillment. And the city also plans to link the RiverWalk to neighborhoods north of East Jefferson Avenue with construction of another major greenway running roughly along Joseph Campau.
“This year we’re going to start seeing the culmination of a lot of things we’ve been wanting to do for decades,” Mark Wallace, CEO of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, which builds and manages the RiverWalk, said last week in an interview.
Opening in midsummer at a cost of $3.9 million, Atwater Beach will create a large sand-filled play area along with other amenities including a refreshment venue between Chene Park East and Stroh River Place. It replaces what had been initially picked for a new residential project but was converted to parkland at the request of residents. Atwater Beach is designed by Groundswell Design Group and Mannik and Smith architects.
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John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press.