FLINT, Mich. — A $36.8 million project is expected to change the landscape of the Flint River in downtown Flint.

The project is being led by Genesee County Parks and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Flint Journal (http://bit.ly/2qbMgqa ) reported.

The major pillars of the project include removing the Hamilton Dam, greening Riverbank Park and the former Chevy in the Hole site, building a walking bridge over the Swartz Creek and Flint River to connect the Iron Belle Trail, and softening the riverbanks with rocks and native plants.

Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission director Amy McMillan said the project aims to boost recreation.

“At the very core of the project, the goal is to make the river as it flows through downtown safer and more accessible to people,” she said. “There are many benefits to that — it will be easier to fish, to flow through and we won’t have to worry about the dam failing. It will be easier to get to the water and safe to paddle this section of the river. Making significant improvements to Riverbank Park can also be a great recreational asset to the city.”

Public and private organizations have secured most of the funding, but there’s still a gap of about $8.6 million.

“We are very optimistic we are going to meet our funding goal,” McMillan said. “We’re right on the edge of our skinny budget right now, and the work we will be doing will continue for many years.”

Work is expected to begin this summer and wrap up tentatively in 2019, although some parts of the project will be finished and usable by then.


Information from: The Flint Journal, http://www.mlive.com/flint

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