‘Gateway to UDM,




Construction is scheduled to begin soon on improvements to the Livernois Avenue streetscape.

Ground was broken last week on the $1.3 million project, which will enhance the landscaping, median and sidewalks.

“Livernois Avenue is the gateway to UDM’s McNichols campus and a major thoroughfare for many northwest Detroit residents and businesses,” said UDM President Antoine Garibaldi. “Enhancing the Livernois streetscape and landscape from the Lodge Freeway to 8 Mile will make a strong impression on potential residents and business owners, as well as prospective UDM students and their families.”

Garibaldi was among seven community leaders who participated Sept. 17 in the ceremonial ground breaking in a green space across from campus.

Michigan Department of Transportation is contributing $975,000 toward the first phase of a five-step project, with matching contributions and support coming from the Kresge Foundation, UDM, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the city of Detroit.

The first phase is expected to begin this month and be completed before winter.

At the ground-breaking, Garilbaldi said that when he arrived in 2011 he recognized that Livernois had its shortcomings and needed work.

“There first impression is not a true reflection of this vibrant neighborhood,” he said.

Conversations had been under way for more than a decade to improve Livernois. About ten years ago, medians were added to the street.

The new project will build on those improvements by making Livernois more pedestrian friendly, officials said.

Wendy Lewis Jackson of the Kresge Foundation noted that it is “a wonderful way to bring back a vital neighborhood.”

Harvey Hollins, representing the state, commended UDM officials and Garilbaldi for their role.

“This project will provide a positive first impression,” he said.