If you’re into biking or running and live in metro Detroit, the Dequindre Cut is a place you probably know. The top line news is that it has been extended by a half mile. You can get a sneak peek of it here from a month ago, but it opens to the public officially this weekend and there will be a celebration from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the new Wilkins Street Plaza.

That half mile extension now means the Dequindre cut ends at Mack Avenue at ground level, connecting to the Eastern Market area, as well as to bike lanes leading to Hamtramck. It now serves as backbone of 20 miles of connected urban greenways extending from the Detroit Riverfront to Eastern Market, linking to the cultural institutions of Midtown and beyond to Hamtramck via walking and biking paths.

Photo of Dequindre Cut pre-revealing via Sven Gustafson on the 8 Wood Blog.
Photo of Dequindre Cut pre-revealing via Sven Gustafson on the 8 Wood Blog.

The celebration will include music and entertainment, food trucks, Rickshaw Detroit Pedicab rides, Greening of Detroit garden tours and activities.

Wheelhouse Detroit will also have complimentary short-term bike rentals available on a first come, first served basis. Guests can also learn more about cycling opportunities and safety in Detroit with information from the Detroit Greenways Coalition, Tour de Troit, Back Alley Bikes, Slow Roll and more.

But wait – there’s more.

See, sure, the cut is expanding and that’s what most people are talking about. But, there’s more to this story. There are actually four other projects as well as the Dequindre extension that the event on Saturday is celebrating. Per officials:

Eastern Market Streetscape Enhancement

The Link Detroit project also included significant streetscape upgrades in the Eastern Market district. The street curbs on Russell Street were improved, along with the addition of bicycle lanes, LED streetlights, and new trees and greenery.  In addition, a new bicycle parking structure was installed at the district’s main parking lot at the corner of Russell and Wilkins. The market also features easy access to the Dequindre Cut Greenway.

Midtown Loop – Phase IV

A vital connector between the Midtown Loop and Eastern Market was also completed as part of the Link Detroit project. The new greenway now connects the Midtown neighborhood and its cultural attractions directly to Eastern Market and the new Dequindre Cut extension via Wilkins Street. The Midtown Loop is a 3.5-mile greenway that began construction in 2010.  Phases I, II and IV are complete, with the final phase, which will run from Midtown to Downtown, wrapping construction by this fall. 

Hamtramck Connector

With the new Dequindre Cut Greenway extension ending now at ground level at Mack Avenue, another two miles of on- and off-street bike lanes were completed in the Link Detroit project to connect Eastern Market and the riverfront to the city of Hamtramck and its planned greenway system.

Bridge Reconstruction

The Link Detroit project also allowed for the reconstruction of three bridges that run over the Dequindre Cut Greenway at Adelaide, Division and Wilkins Streets, and removed the Alfred Street bridge. This reconstruction helps to maintain and enhance critical road linkages allowing adjacent neighborhoods better access to Eastern Market and also helps facilitate more efficient truck traffic to vendors and local businesses.

That’s a lot more walkability being added to Detroit and the enclave of Hamtramck.

“Link Detroit is exactly the kind of public greenways project needed to connect residents to a healthy and livable Detroit,” said Will Rogers, president of The Trust for Public Land said in a statement. “Cities around the country can learn from Detroit’s commitment to improve its open space system, as parks, trails, and other natural places are known to promote public health and revitalize local economies.”

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