$125 Million Plan to Fix Detroit Roads and Sidewalks
City officials have announced a proposal to invest $125 million in bond funds to rejuvenate Detroit neighborhood commercial passageways. The plan is part of a $137 million plan to upgrade 300 miles of roads and damaged sidewalks.
Mayor Mike Duggan plans to submit a proposal asking for approval for the sales bonds, with $80 million going towards structure and facility improvements and $45 million to improve roads and sidewalks. According to the city, the bonds will be paid back over the next several years through unbudgeted increases in state transportation revenue, which is received through state gas taxes and vehicle registration fees.
The city states that its annual share of state road revenue is going to gradually be increased over the next five years to reach its maximum of $95 million in 2021.
Officials say the city’s general fund will not be impacted by this bond sale and will not be used to pay back the bonds. The program will also not impact any other construction projects.
The city plans to spend the remainder of the total $137 budget over the next five years, continuing to improve roads and sidewalk sections.
In a statement Mayor Duggan said, “We’ve got the money now to think strategically. You can see how we’re going to rebuild … That’s the vision, that’s the plan.”
The targeted roads include Livernois, McNichols, West Vernor, and East Warren. Additional corridor improvements include the creation of bike lanes, street parking, and wider sidewalk. Landscaping is also included in the plan, which almost 90% of realtors encourage homeowners to put money into before selling.
Throughout the city, the plan would involve these areas:
- East English Village
- East Riverfront
- Eastern Market
- Grand River/Northwest
- Brush Park
- I-94 Industrial Corridor
- Islandview/Greater Villages
- Jefferson Chambers
- Warrendale and Cody Rouge
- Southwest/West Vernor Corridor
- Russell Woods
- Rosa Parks/Clairmount
- Livernois and McNichols
Councilman George Cushingberry called the proposal a “very unique public-private partnership.”
While neighborhood streets are being repaved, all identified damages sidewalks will also be replaced. Additionally, complaint-based and inspection locations with be prioritized by a variety of conditions.
According to Duggan and other officials, many of the commercial business corridors throughout the city are outdated. Duggan said the renovation plan would improve the attractiveness of the business districts and make them more pedestrian-friendly. Road and sidewalk work is expected to start early in 2018.