DETROIT (AP) – Detroit officials say they expect to begin design and construction on a 7.5-mile railroad property this fall to complete a bike and pedestrian pathway around the city.

The city announced Thursday that it reached a $4.3 million deal with railroad company Conrail to acquire the land. The acquisition fills the largest gap in the 26-mile Inner Circle Greenway, which connects neighborhood and residents to parks, commercial areas, downtown and the city’s riverfront.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the plan to acquire the portion of the greenway has been “years in the making.”

City officials say the pathway is meant to improve transit options for Detroit residents, especially those who don’t have vehicles and need access to jobs, services and civic amenities.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Transportation are expected to reimburse Detroit for the property.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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