It's a good year for green space in Detroit. Along with major work happening along the Riverfront, a long-awaited project has finally started. 

Yesterday, the City of Detroit officially broke ground on Phase One of the Joe Louis Greenway. This nearly three mile section will run from Fullerton Avenue to Warren Avenue, along an old Conrail line. This section will have separate lanes for bikes and pedestrians.

Phase One is a three-mile stretch on the west side, which will connect to Dearborn and Southwest in the near future.Courtesy of the City of Detroit

Along with the greenway, this phase includes acquiring a scrap yard near Joy Road and converting it into a green space. 

Phase One is a 2.73 mile path along an old Conrail line.Courtesy of the City of Detroit

Phase One will be completed by fall, while the entire 27-mile loop is projected to be completed by the end of 2030.

The Joe Louis Greenway will include already completed sections -- the Riverwalk and the Dequindre Cut. The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is expected to start work on another connecting piece this year -- the Southwest Greenway in Corktown.

The greenway will eventually run through Hamtramck and Highland Park, and will bring greater connection and easier access to green space for Detroiters. It also increases accessibility for Detroiters who don't have cars.

“The road to a stronger, more equitable city starts by reconnecting people, local businesses, schools, and jobs with each other—and with a safe and active new way to get there,” said Janette Sadik-Khan, principal with Bloomberg Associates, who works with mayors on transformative transportation projects.

The Joe Louis Greenway in total is projected to cost $211.8 million, which will be raised through donors, philanthropic organizations, and state and local funds.