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Riverwalk connector to be built over the water, more west Riverfront plans revealed soon

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Courtesy of Detroit RiverFront Conservancy

We’re getting closer to seeing what’s in store for the city’s West Riverfront. A design competition kicked off last year and in early February, four finalists will reveal their designs to the public. This competition will be for the Riverfront space running from Rosa Parks Boulevard and Eighth Street; so what about the space in between the existing Riverwalk and the West Riverfront Park?

Residents at Riverfront Towers—located right in between the end of the Riverwalk and the West Riverfront Park—were recently shown concepts from the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. The 3.5-mile Riverwalk currently ends at the Joe Louis Arena, and Riverfront Towers residents have their own riverfront space. A new design would extend the Riverwalk over the water in order to connect the pathway, reaching 17 feet out from the shoreline.

Residents have voiced concerns over noise levels and security, especially later at night and after special events. A previous design had the Riverwalk only 6.5 feet out from the shoreline. To attempt to curb noise, “Quiet Zone” and “No Radios” signs would be placed on the connector, and foot traffic after late events would be rerouted to West Jefferson. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy would also add security cameras and patrol the boardwalk for safety. The Riverfront Towers would only be accessed by a key or card.

The new boardwalk would open in 2019.

The West Riverfront design presentation will be held February 8. More details to come.