(Detroit) – Despite shooting down the $25 million grant request for the M1 light rail project just a few days ago, the U.S. Transportation Department awarded $10 million to the Link Detroit project.
Link Detroit is aimed at improving the Detroit Riverwalk, Eastern Market, and the greenways in downtown and midtown, with the eventual goal of connecting them all. Anybody that has enjoyed the Dequindre Cut knows what a difference these investments can make in the livability of the area.
The grants are also expected to be used to reconstruct the Adelaide, Wilkins and Division street bridges over the Dequindre Cut extension near the edge of Eastern Market. Those bridges are in major disrepair and will probably need to be completely rebuilt. This grant will therefore create construction jobs, in addition to making Eastern Market more accessible to foot traffic.
Dan Carmody, President of Eastern Market Corporation, was pleased, saying that the grant would allow prior sections of greenway construction to finally be connected, “creating a robust system of greenways that connects places where people live, work, play, and shop.” Then adding, “Further, key bridges, critical infrastructure to the operations of Eastern Market will be improved and we will advance our work to better connect the parts of the Eastern Market District that lie on either side of the M-3 Connector.”
The federal grants are part of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program which aims to invest in roads, rail, ports and other transit projects around the country. The TIGER grants are part of the same program that M1 light rail proponents were trying to get approved for the light rail project on Woodward.