- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DETROIT (AP) - Blight eradication efforts in Detroit now include parts of a neighborhood near a planned commuter bridge linking Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

The city will spend $750,000 to tear down 33 houses in the Delray community and to remove overgrown brush and trees on vacant land, officials announced Tuesday.

“The City Council worked hard to make sure these dollars were reinvested in Delray to address quality of life issues and continue our commitment to community benefits,” Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda-Lopez said.

About 23,000 people called the southwest side neighborhood home in the 1930s. Large parts of Delray were cleared for expansion of a wastewater plant and construction of an interstate highway. Now, about 4,000 people live there, according to the city.

“My campaign slogan said that every neighborhood has a future, and that includes neighborhoods like Delray,” Mayor Mike Duggan said. “It’s going to take us some time, and a lot more funding, to get every neighborhood the help it needs. But the transformation under way in Delray is a demonstration that the city’s commitment to every neighborhood is real.”

Duggan has made fighting blight one of the city’s priorities. His administration has demolished about 6,000 vacant houses across Detroit.

The money for the Delray project was allotted to Detroit by the state as part of land acquisition tied to the planned Gordie Howe International Bridge. Plans call for the $2.1 billion government span across the Detroit River to open in 2020.

Blight removal in Delray will be west of where the bridge and customs plaza are slated to go up.

Clearing blight so close to a major trade crossing could set the stage for reinvestment in Delray, Duggan said.


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