DETROIT (WWJ) — As Joe Louis Arena has a date with the wrecking ball a new honor has been bestowed on the “Brown Bomber” today.
A new 26-mile trail through Detroit will be called the Joe Louis Greenway. The announcement was made on Friday by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan with Louis’ family members in attendance.
“We own all 26 miles, we bought the last $7.5 million from Conrail in June and the first five miles is operational,” Duggan said. “People know the Dequindre Cut, the area over by Eastern Market, and every year there is going to be three or four more miles that are activated until the loop is entirely complete.”
The trail will extend throughout Detroit neighborhoods and touch parts of Highland Park, Ferndale, Dearborn and Hamtramck, as well as connecting with the riverfront and Dequindre Cut. It will also connect with already existing parks, bike lanes, routes and trails.
Construction for this project is expected to begin in three years. The city has already raised $10 million for the project and is expected to apply for another $18 million in federal TIGER grants to help complete the Greenway trail.
Louis’ 13-year-old granddaughter Nia likes this tribute better than the Red Wings’ old home. She said this Greenway will better represent what her grandpa was all about.
“Well I think it represents him better than the other one,” Nia said. “This is better to make people fit and connect the community, which is something that he did.”
Joe Louis Barrow Jr. was also on hand during the ceremony, and said this project will help continue to unite communities just like his father did.
“I think the Greenway without question pulls people together and communities together,” he said. “I think that as people use the Greenway and as they learn what Joe Louis meant to Detroit and all of the communities of Michigan they will understand that he was significant.”