DETROIT, June 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority
(DWCPA) broke ground today on an $11.25 million state-of-the-art Public Dock
and Terminal that will further establish Detroit's Riverfront as a tourist
destination. Great Lakes cruise ships, dinner cruisers, tour boats, tall
ships and other vessels will be able to dock at the facility, which also
includes a new headquarters for the DWCPA. U.S. Senator Carl Levin, who
secured $7.5 million in federal funding for the project, was the featured
speaker at the event.
"The new dock and terminal will have a direct economic and positive impact
on the city of Detroit and the entire region," said Senator Levin. "Given the
history of commercial and recreational use of our riverfront, the construction
of this state-of-the-art, Public Dock and Passenger Terminal will welcome
national and international commercial and tourist vessels, once again, to our
city. It will mark the rebirth of a world class Port of Detroit."
Construction on the Dock of Detroit, located at the foot of Bates Street
in downtown Detroit west of the General Motors (GM) Wintergarden, is expected
to begin in the fall of this year as the DWCPA has completed all of its
environmental requirements for construction. It is scheduled to be complete
by July 2005 in time for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Detroit.
"The State is very proud of the federal, state, county and local
partnership forged to make this a reality," stated Robert A. Davis,
Director, Governor's Office for Southeastern Michigan. "The Public Dock
and Terminal is another example of a jewel in Detroit."
"We have been working hard to restore Detroit as a destination for the
Great Lakes cruising industry," said Arthur B. Blackwell, II, Chairman of the
Board of Directors, DWCPA. "In 1998, we brought in hundreds of international
passengers on the C. Columbus, the first cruise ship to dock in Detroit in
over 30 years. This project is truly a significant opportunity for Detroit."
"This is yet another example of our Riverfront's dynamic transformation
and the many ways we are partnering to grow Detroit," said Mayor Kwame M.
"One of the first visitors to the new Dock of Detroit may be a
100-passenger cruise ship, which could dock in the city during the 2005 All-
Star Game," said Curtis Hertel, Executive Director, DWCPA. "We thought it
would be the perfect time to introduce visitors from across the country to our
Detroit is one of the only cities with a major port to not have a modern
public dock and passenger terminal. Without a dock, the Great Lakes cruising
industry has been dormant in Detroit since 1967. This industry has reemerged
as a growing market and is having a strong economic impact on cities
throughout the Great Lakes region, including Chicago, Cleveland, Toledo, and
The new Public Dock and Terminal will provide residents and visitors
direct access to the river. It is part of the overall vision for a
transformed Detroit Riverfront, which includes a five-mile RiverWalk from the
Belle Isle Bridge to the Ambassador Bridge, the Tri-Centennial State Park &
Harbor and the General Motors Plaza and Promenade.
"With today's groundbreaking for a new dock and terminal and the recent
dedication of the Tri-Centennial State Park and Harbor, we are seeing the
vision for the Detroit Riverfront quickly becoming a reality," said Matthew P.
Cullen, Co-Chairman of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy and GM's General
Manager of Economic Development and Enterprise Services. "The new Public Dock
and Terminal will provide another means for visitors to experience all of the
tremendous redevelopment that is occurring along the riverfront. It will tie
in nicely with the GM Plaza and Promenade, which will be completed later this
year," added Cullen.
To fund the new project, the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority received
$7.5 million in federal and state grants under the Transportation Equity Act
for the 21st Century (TEA-21); $3 million from the state's Clean Michigan
Initiative, Waterfront Redevelopment Grant; and $750,000 from the City of
Plans are being made to incorporate the RiverWalk through the Public Dock
and Terminal facility. The RiverWalk and surrounding green spaces are being
designed to include outdoor dining, children's playscapes, art fairs and
fishing areas. Detroit's history dating back to the early 1700s will be
shared in a series of interpretive plazas, focusing on areas of riverfront
that were home to the ribbon farms of early settlers.
"The Detroit Riverfront will redefine our city and transform the way we
live, work and play," said Faye Nelson, President and CEO of the Detroit
RiverFront Conservancy. "It will create a vibrant area with residents and
visitors rollerblading, fishing, shopping and living-it's very exciting to be
a part of it."
In 1933, the Detroit Wayne County Port District was established with
jurisdiction over the waters and shoreline of Wayne County. As more
development began to take place, a stronger need for concentration on port
activities arose, resulting in the establishment of the Detroit/Wayne County
Port Authority in 1978.
The Port Authority has a five-member Board of Directors with one member
appointed by the State of Michigan, two by Wayne County and two by the City of
Detroit. Funding for the Port Authority is provided by the State of Michigan,
Wayne County and City of Detroit.
SOURCE The Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority