Portions of concrete and steel crumpled like flakes of dust, crashing down with the steady early morning rain pelting the surface of the water. As crews began knocking down the Hamilton Dam, the Flint Riverfront Restoration project officially kicked off with creaking, smashing and big splashes.
Work at the Capitol Theatre, Ferris Wheel, Mott Community College’s culinary school and other recent renovations are transforming buildings and the types of businesses downtown with hopes of changing the face of downtown Flint for years to come.
Genesee County Park officials are looking to connect the Genesee Valley Trail, which connects Flint Township to the Chevy Commons, to the Flint River Trail, which starts downtown and follows the river to Bluebell Beach in Genesee Township. If completed, pedestrians may soon be able to travel from Flint Township to Bluebell Beach using the Genesee County trail system.
In efforts to improve the surrounding areas of the Flint River, the Flint River Restoration is attempting to remove remove dams, including the deteriorating Hamilton Dam in downtown Flint, which was deemed “unsatisfactory” by the State of Michigan in 2008. The project is in the final stages of design and the permitting process to get the dam removed is underway.
Transforming the Flint River into the the gem it once used to be is a long-term goal for the Flint River Restoration Project. By cleaning up the surrounding areas and removing potentially dangerous dams connected to the river, the project aims at re-connecting residents to this once prospering area in downtown Flint.
The Hamilton Dam, which was deemed “unsatisfactory” by the State of Michigan in 2008, is expected to be demolished later this year. It’s a large step for the Flint River Restoration project, which has an ultimate goal to soften the concrete banks of the river with natural stone and boulders to make it more accessible and safe for recreation near downtown Flint.