Daylighting Rivers

Old bridge over the Red Run along Vinsetta Boulevard in Royal OakImagine biking down a quiet residential street next to a wooded creek. Imagine clearing snow of the frozen creek for outsdoor ice skating in the winter.

Now imagine that in Royal Oak.


No, not at all. It used to happen in Royal Oak According to historical accounts. At least two tributaries of the Red Run passed through Royal Oak with the more prominent one being along Vinsetta Boulevard.

Those bridges crossing over Vinsetta used to be bridges over the creek as shown in this photo.

Then in the 1920s and 1930s, Red Run was buried in a large drain.

Other Michigan cities such as Detroit and Pontiac have also buried rivers.

The city of Pontiac has discussed daylighting the Clinton River through the downtown area.

In Detroit, on planning expert suggested daylighting creeks in the more vacant parts of the city, damming them, and creating lakes surrounded by forests. Imagine biking past around that in Detroit. Perhaps the Huron-Clinton Metropolitan Authority could create a Metropark within the city boundaries.

But this discussion is occuring beyond Michigan. The New York Times published an article about river daylighting both inside and outside of the U.S.

Certainly it costs money. Everything does. But there are benefits to doing this besides creating more recreational opportunities.

How much would home values along Vinsetta increase if the Red Run was restored? Would that justify the cost?

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One Response to “Daylighting Rivers”

  1. Mike Says:

    Always wondered about those structures on Vinsetta. It probably would increase home values a little, but more importantly i think it would be a nice improvement to the community.

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