Detroit's greenway project gets $20M federal grant

The Biden administration awarded the City of Detroit $20.7 million to help connect the Joe Louis Greenway to the Iron Belle Trail.

City leaders are elated over the federal grant funding. It’s the green that the "Joe Louis Greenway Meets the Iron Belle" project needs to push forward.

"The grant is helping with funding gaps," said Crystal Perkins, the director of Detroit's General Services Department. "This is a huge project –27.5 miles– a $20 million grant will help us."

There is a lot to look forward to, said the Joe Louis Greenway Partnership's executive director, Leona Medley.

"We’re going to see immediate construction. We're going to see some blight removal," Medley said. "We’ll see access to a path that is currently not accessible, the reuse of green space, increased walk ability for the neighborhood."

Entrepreneur Lance Woods of We Run 313, a running club, has been monitoring the progress of the Joe Louis Greenway and is looking forward to the project's completion.

"The first installment of it happened right in the neighborhood I grew up in," Woods said. "We could run in the streets all day, but sometimes people driving cars don’t see runners. If we can run in spaces that we don’t have to worry about traffic, that’s great for us."

And as this greenway project gets a boost, many want to know when it will be completed.

"As we’re doing the greenway, as we’re clearing out the space, we’re finding a lot of dumping, a lot of tires. There’s more debris than we estimated," Perkins said. "So we're working on updating our timeline. But we hope residents can come out and enjoy what we've already completed. And as we're continuing to make the path, continue to come out and enjoy the green space."


Gateway to Joe Louis Greenway opens on Detroit's west side

The West Warren ribbon cutting happened Tuesday, replacing blight and an abandoned railway line with a four-acre park and access to the 27-mile greenway that goes around the city.