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(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

An idea envisioned almost 20 years ago is finally becoming a reality.

Construction has begun on the final section of the east Detroit Riverfront.

The project marks the final section of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s 3.5-mile plan, which will ultimately connect the Riverfront Parks with Belle Isle.

The initial part of the Detroit Riverwalk was constructed by GM back in 2003 in front of the Renaissance Center. GM has now provided $2.5 million to help finish the last section.

“When we started transforming the riverfront 20 years ago, we had an ambitious vision and our promise was to connect the entire East Riverfront,” Detroit Riverfront Conservancy Chair Matt Cullen said in a statement. “Today, we are proud to break ground and deliver on that promise.

“For decades, the Uniroyal site has been synonymous with industrial contamination and inaccessibility to our waterfront,” added Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “Thanks to the cleanup efforts that have taken place and the great work of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, future generations will know this stretch as one of the most beautiful sections of Detroit’s international waterfront, which continues to be cited as one of the best in the world.”

The project is expected to be finished by fall 2022.

Anne Erickson's love for music drew her into radio, and she started shortly after graduating from MSU. She has a passion for rock and metal, plus local music. She also fronts the band Upon Wings. Email Anne at erickson@WRIF.com and tweet at her @AnneErickson!