May 25, 2023 - News

Southwest Greenway, part of larger path around Detroit, opens

The Southwest Greenway. Photo: Courtesy of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The new Southwest Greenway connecting the city's west riverfront to Michigan Central Station, Corktown and Mexicantown opened Wednesday.

The big picture: It will eventually connect to the 27.5-mile, still-under-construction Joe Louis Greenway around the city, as well as the west riverfront park and Canada via the Gordie Howe Bridge.

  • The greenway has public bathrooms thanks to Ford, which installed them as it renovates Michigan Central.
  • Corktown and Southwest Detroit are close to the river but "don't feel like it," as there was no easy access until now, Mark Wallace, CEO of the nonprofit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, said at an opening event Wednesday.

The intrigue: The Southwest Greenway took 18 months to construct, but it took five years before that to acquire all the land necessary to build it.

By the numbers: The conservancy also announced more donations and public dollars in a $350 million campaign to fund and maintain the riverwalk, as well as the Joe Louis Greenway.

  • It's raised $229 million so far, including most recently from the Gilbert Family Foundation, Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation and the state, county and city.
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