$10 million U.S. grant to help extend Dequindre Cut from Eastern Market to other parts of city

Posted on June 21, 2012

A $10 million federal grant will help fund the extension of the Dequindre Cut Greenway — connecting the Detroit riverfront to Eastern Market — and other projects that could take the greenway into Midtown and Hamtramck.

The grant “is a substantial award that allows us to do a major piece of a slightly bigger project,” said Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp., which applied for the federal funding with the Detroit Public Works Department.

Also collaborating on the project are the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan and Midtown Detroit Inc.

The funds — pulled from the U.S. Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program with assistance from U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin — represent a portion of the funding sought for the $24 million project, Carmody said.

“We’ve got to figure out how to cut about a third of the project … we’ll probably still do all of those things,” but it will affect how quickly they can be done, he said.

As initially planned, the project would take pieces of greenways and turn them into a system, Carmody said.

The plan includes three greenway projects, the renovation of bridges over the Dequindre Cut and streetscape work in Eastern Market, he said.

It calls for extending the Dequindre Cut trail from Gratiot to Mack Avenue and two extenders: one would link the Dequindre Cut with the Midtown Loop, and the other would use bike pathways on surface streets to connect the cut to the Hamtramck trail, Carmody said.

The project envisions a continuous greenway system connecting the riverfront to Eastern Market and also to Midtown and the Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center campuses.

“My guess would be the bridges and the Dequindre Cut extension would come first, (but) we’re meeting to determine how best to proceed with the money we have available,” Carmody said.

The city and nonprofits now will complete final design work and put out a request for bids. Construction should be under way a year or so from now, given that the terms of the grant require funds to be committed by then, Carmody said.

By: Sherri Welch, Crain’s Detroit