There are many projects near the Fort Street Bridge in southwest Detroit. These include the replacement of the historic bridge over the main branch of the Rouge River by the Michigan Department of Transportation in 2016 and the subsequent development of Fort Street Bridge Park, which commemorates the Ford Hunger March of 1932. In addition, Marathon Petroleum Company’s green space, known as Marathon Gardens, lays adjacent to the park. This initiative involves transitioning the former, 100-acre Oakwood Heights neighborhood to include areas of forest, prairie, and urban farming, as well as park space along Fort Street for off-road, non-motorized trail development.
The Fort Street Bridge is a critical point of connection for non-motorized transportation in southwest Detroit. It is the main connector between Detroit and Downriver as identified by the city’s non-motorized plan. A gateway feature announcing the entry to the Downriver Linked Greenways is planned near the bridge. The Fort Street Bridge is also a critical connection for:
- Adventure Cycling’s Underground Railroad Bicycle Route from Mobile, Alabama to Owen Sound, Ontario
- Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail from Belle Isle to Wisconsin
- Proposed U.S. Bicycle Routes 25 and 30
Adding bicycle access to the nearby Gordie Howe International Bridge brings an international importance to this connection.
Eventually this hub will include trail connections to the Rouge Gateway Trail, Hines Drive, and Rouge Park. A Rouge River kayak launch is also planned.
For these reasons, we are collaborating with many other organizations to ensure this becomes a valuable hub for bicyclists, hikers, and kayakers, as well as an appealing point of interest for motorists and tourists.
Fort Street Bridge Park
This new park on the Rouge River officially opened on October 22, 2020. Below are photos from the opening celebration, including the Ford Hunger March monument made from components of the original Fort Street Bridge.