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  1. #1
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    Mar 2017
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    Default Urban Beach for Detroit -- Atwater Park

    GroundBreaking begins - sand, beach and umbrella chairs and a barge floating to serve food and drinks.
    Atwater Beach, 2670 Atwater St., east of Chene Park
    and along the Detroit River.

  2. #2

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    The bridge had already been completed that connect Cheney Park to the East River walk but no one is allow to ride in it until August of next year. That was I was told by an insider

  3. #3

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    The river walk has been a great success, and happy for another addition to hopefully improve it even more...

    But, has anyone involved with the design considered that the barge is going to basically serve as a giant “walk through” for the walkers, bikers, runners, etc. using the river walk?

    These renderings show the “river trail” making a giant U coming away from the river to go around the small lagoon. But the simple fact is that people are going to want to walk/bike/run the straightest path, which is right across the proposed barge. People aren’t going to chose to make the indentation unless they have to.

    I don’t know if that eas an oversight where a bunch of planners and landscape architects designed this thing without consulting an engineer, but even to the untrained eye it should be fairly obvious what will happen.

  4. #4

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    Its also too bad there wont be any water access-I know there are currents but if they could have roped/barrier walled it somehow it woulda been cool. Can't wait to check it out!

  5. #5

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    Here's what the walk over look

  6. #6

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    Name:  20180826_193920.jpg
Views: 1639
Size:  75.9 KBthis is what the over walkway look today. I think that it could be used instead of it not being used until next August

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by One Shot View Post
    Its also too bad there wont be any water access-I know there are currents but if they could have roped/barrier walled it somehow it woulda been cool. Can't wait to check it out!
    True, but I think with the design that won the West Riverfront update that includes a beach, they probably figured that would suffice.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    5,067

    Default

    Is that Belle Isle beach popular for swimming? I would imagine that river swimming, with currents and muddy bottom, would be less than ideal, especially in a part of the country that isn't exactly lacking in good swimming lakes.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Is that Belle Isle beach popular for swimming? I would imagine that river swimming, with currents and muddy bottom, would be less than ideal, especially in a part of the country that isn't exactly lacking in good swimming lakes.
    Yes, the beach is packed and lots of people are swimming. Current isn't too bad if you stay inside the buoys and the bottom is surprisingly sandy at wading depths.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
    Yes, the beach is packed and lots of people are swimming. Current isn't too bad if you stay inside the buoys and the bottom is surprisingly sandy at wading depths.
    When I hear people say that the current in the Detroit River is so strong that you can't swim in certain areas, then why is it that you can swim on Belle Isle? The area along Atwater, just east of the "hill', which has a canal, could be expanded to include a "real" beach. Remove the hill to expand the canal with more water and grade it so that you could go from the beach area into the water from a shallow grade to a deep grade and you would have a "real" beach.

    The location of this Atwater Beach if fraught with some issues. First of all, it's not a real beach. Secondly, the hill and trees that create the border for Chene Park will block most of the afternoon sun from beach goers. If you can't swim at a beach and can't get good sun for sun tanning most of the time there, then why bother to go? And finally, where are people going to park? Most people who come to a beach have a need to bring picnic items as well as beach wear. There's no parking on the street in that area and the lot to the east is a private lot. Are folks gonna park at Rivard Plaza and walk the three to four blocks with their picnic and beach gear? Again, it would have been better to have the beach closer to Rivard Plaza and have a "real" beach.
    Last edited by royce; August-29-18 at 09:41 AM.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    When I hear people say that the current in the Detroit River is so strong that you can't swim in certain areas, then why is it that you can swim on Belle Isle? The area along Atwater, just east of the "hill', which has a canal, could be expanded to include a "real" beach. Remove the hill to expand the canal with more water and grade it so that you could go from the beach area into the water from a shallow grade to a deep grade and you would have a "real" beach.

    The location of this Atwater Beach if fraught with some issues. First of all, it's not a real beach. Secondly, the hill and trees that create the border for Chene Park will block most of the afternoon sun from beach goers. If you can't swim at a beach and can't get good sun for sun tanning most of the time there, then why bother to go? And finally, where a people going to park? Most people who come to a beach have a need to bring picnic items as well as beach wear. Are folks gonna park at Rivard Plaza and walk the three to four blocks with their picnic and beach gear? Again, it would have been better to have the beach closer to Rivard Plaza and have a "real" beach.

    Just curious, with all the bike lanes, and walk ability, why the hell can't people just go to Belle Isle and swim? Why does everyone have to have everything catered to their doorstep? Why does everything have to be remodified to suit this generation?

  12. #12

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    Well, Honky Tonk, I think Atwater Beach is an excuse to get people together but not necessarily "real" beach people. I think the Riverfront Conservancy saw the success of the Campus Martius beach and are trying to duplicate it on land that was originally meant for private apartments and/or condos. I'm not convinced that putting that land into the conservancy's hands was the best use of the property. A residential building on that small piece of land would not have taken anything away from access to the river front. Since that's no longer going to happen, I'm still waiting to see when the conservancy is going to put in basketball courts and tennis courts into the state park.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by royce View Post
    When I hear people say that the current in the Detroit River is so strong that you can't swim in certain areas, then why is it that you can swim on Belle Isle? The area along Atwater, just east of the "hill', which has a canal, could be expanded to include a "real" beach. Remove the hill to expand the canal with more water and grade it so that you could go from the beach area into the water from a shallow grade to a deep grade and you would have a "real" beach.

    The location of this Atwater Beach if fraught with some issues. First of all, it's not a real beach. Secondly, the hill and trees that create the border for Chene Park will block most of the afternoon sun from beach goers. If you can't swim at a beach and can't get good sun for sun tanning most of the time there, then why bother to go? And finally, where are people going to park? Most people who come to a beach have a need to bring picnic items as well as beach wear. There's no parking on the street in that area and the lot to the east is a private lot. Are folks gonna park at Rivard Plaza and walk the three to four blocks with their picnic and beach gear? Again, it would have been better to have the beach closer to Rivard Plaza and have a "real" beach.
    River current varies widely along the river. it is not the same everywhere along the river. Belle Isle beach is in a slight bay protected from the main river current. The current is fastest along north/west side of the river as it curves south along downtown.

  14. #14

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    Thanks, ndavies, for clarifying that.

  15. #15
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    Mar 2017
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    Default

    Kayakers often learn the current lesson the hard way when they attempt to circumnavigate Belle Isle or Grosse Isle. For those inexperienced newbies it can make them feel like they are standing still as they thrash/splash spasmodically to make headway back to their starting point. Kayaking is a skill, paddling is not inherent in peoples DNA. Almost no one paddles correctly, without instruction, coaching, and observation.

  16. #16

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    Any updates on this? Completion date? I’m gonna be down for the weekend during the Grand Prix and would be nice if it was open or close to it!

  17. #17

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    There is nowhere along the banks of the Detroit River that a true beach can be built, except as an inlet... as is planned on the west riverfront. The water depth goes to 20ft very quickly.

    There is one spot however where water depth can be as low as 3 ft. deep. And that is Scott Middle Ground... right out from Belle Isle Beach. The beach area there is shallow, but once you go out a ways... it suddenly drops off to 27ft. deep. Then it gets shallow very quickly at Scott Middle Ground... only 3 ft. deep in some places (hazardous for boat traffic that is not careful). Then towards the land side of the river, the water depth goes back down to 25 ft., before it rises sharply at the rivers edge.

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sc...!4d-82.9871404

    Attached is a water depth map that shows the deep and shallow areas, and helps explain why the Detroit River currents can be so treacherous in some areas.

    I bet that because the water goes shallow in that spot so quickly... that rip tide type conditions exist over Scott Middle Ground, with fast moving water.
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by Gistok; March-11-19 at 02:10 AM.

  18. #18

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    Here's a never implemented plan about turning Scott Middle Ground into an island back in the 1920s... but was never implemented... which included rebuilding the new Belle Isle (MacArthur) Bridge there...

    https://www.metrotimes.com/the-scene...that-never-was

    I bet having large cement slabs all around the other areas of Belle Isle waterfront serves 2 purposes... 1) to prevent island erosion from the swift water, and 2) if you injure yourself because you loose your footing on those coarse jagged cement blocks... it's preferable to landing in the water and likely drowning from the swift current.
    Last edited by Gistok; March-11-19 at 02:17 AM.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gistok View Post
    I bet having large cement slabs all around the other areas of Belle Isle waterfront serves 2 purposes... 1) to prevent island erosion from the swift water, and 2) if you injure yourself because you loose your footing on those coarse jagged cement blocks... it's preferable to landing in the water and likely drowning from the swift current.
    Talk about a dark comment.. You alright Gistok this late at night?

  20. #20

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    Talk about a dark comment.. You alright Gistok this late at night?
    I was amazed at the minutia of Detroit history. Thanks Gistok.
    And for my new desktop background.
    Last edited by Bigb23; March-11-19 at 03:55 AM.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbdetsport View Post
    Talk about a dark comment.. You alright Gistok this late at night?
    Ha! Yes I am fine... working on a 9 volume LEGO book deal with China... so I am up late at night to coincide with China time. That and a little too much caffeine... and my imagination runs wild!!

  22. #22

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    I hope this is constructed soon. Detroit needs its own version of Chicago's beachfront areas.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hypestyles View Post
    I hope this is constructed soon. Detroit needs its own version of Chicago's beachfront areas.
    It has been under construction for awhile

  24. #24
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    Mar 2017
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    Default

    Looking forward to it. Kayaking season is quickly approaching

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Hoping we have some sunny warm days in the near future to go exploring along the beach front

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