Joe Louis Greenway receives nearly $4 million in federal funds, will connect Detroit, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Highland Park


Once completed, the 27.5 mile Joe Louis Greenway will connect Detroit's RiverWalk, the Dequindre Cut, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Highland Park. - JAY STILES/DETROITSTOCKCITY.COM
  • Jay Stiles/
  • Once completed, the 27.5 mile Joe Louis Greenway will connect Detroit's RiverWalk, the Dequindre Cut, Dearborn, Hamtramck, and Highland Park.

The big picture is getting bigger for one massive Detroit project named after a legendary Detroit boxer which aims to safely — and green-ly — connect Detroit and its surrounding communities.

Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence announced Friday that the Joe Louis Greenway is the recipient of nearly $4 million in federal funding thanks to the INVEST In America Act, which distributes aid to modernize America's rapidly crumbling infrastructure.

“We’re going to create an area where people can ride their bikes and walk. That’s a progressive city,” Lawrence said at a press conference in Hamtramck. “That’s a city that embraced that we need to invest in climate-resilient infrastructure.”
The 27.5-mile-long greenway (meaning, non-motorized and, well, green) broke ground in May, though the concept has been on the table since 2007, when Friends of the Inner Circle Greenway began working with the city to establish loops, routes, and land acquisitions.

The project would connect the Detroit Riverfront, Highland Park, Dearborn, and Hamtramck, and will include the Dequindre Cut's two paved miles, as well as portions of the Detroit RiverWalk. The Joe Louis Greenway will also eventually connect the planned Iron Belle Trail (which is expected to connect Detroit to Northern Michigan) and Corktown's Southwest Greenway both of which have not yet begun construction.
The Joe Louis Greenway loop. - CITY OF DETROIT
  • City of Detroit
  • The Joe Louis Greenway loop.

“We are taking 27 and a half miles of the most blighted and neglected land in the city of Detroit, and we are turning it into 27 and a half miles of beauty,” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said at the greenway's groundbreaking earlier this year.

In addition to connecting communities, increasing traffic to local businesses, the Joe Louis Greenway will also provide various community spaces that will host outdoor activities for Detroiters of all abilities.

It is estimated that the Joe Louis Greenway will cost upwards of $200 million dollars and 10 years to complete. However, the first phase, which spans the three miles between Warren and Fullerton Avenues, is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.

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