Jan 17, 2023 - News

Motor City Transit: Joe Louis Greenway's rising cost

Sign near the Joe Louis Greenway Mural in Hamtramck

Sign near the Joe Louis Greenway mural in Hamtramck. Photo: City of Detroit/Flickr

City Council is asking questions about a $1.5 million change order from a Joe Louis Greenway project contractor.

Why it matters: The 27.5-mile recreational greenway that will connect parks and neighborhoods across the city is a transformational project to improve transit options and overall quality of life.

  • Construction is underway but will take another 5-10 years. The overall cost is $240 million.

State of play: The project involves numerous contracts and vendors. Increasing costs caught the attention of the council's Neighborhood and Community Services committee last week.

  • Major Contracting is asking for a $1.5 million amendment to its original $14 million contract for hazardous material removal, playground installation and relocation of utilities.

What they're saying: "We need to save the city money as much as possible. This greenway is costing the city quite a bit of money and with these additional amendments that concerns me," Councilmember Angela Whitfield Calloway said at the committee meeting.

The other side: "We don't know what's underground," James Glavin of the city's procurement department said in response to questions. "During the course of construction, additional things came up that were discovered in the construction phase due to unforeseen site conditions."

What's next: The contract amendment was forwarded to the full council for an upcoming vote.

  • Axios Detroit has a pending Freedom of Information Act request for city contracts with Major Contracting and other companies working on the greenway.

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