The Grand River Corridor Initiative restores the waterway and waterfront of Michigan’s longest river flowing through Kent County and Grand Rapids.

The project involves removing 5 aging, low head dams in order to—among other social, economic and environmental benefits—put the rapids back in Grand Rapids. This $345 million catalyst project aims to break ground in 2023 on a multi-year construction effort. Along the waterfront, the project aspires to transform the east and west riverbanks into a 30-mile greenway and network of trails and amenities that link the urban core with two regional assets—Riverside Park stewarded by the City of Grand Rapids and Millennium Park stewarded by Kent County—as well as connect to nearly 1,000 miles of non-motorized trails throughout the state.

Project Details

Infrastructure Type Waterfront / Waterway
Status Advocacy & Design
Opening River improvements projected for completion in 2025, with adjacent parks rehab and trail development to follow
Size 3300 acres, 30 miles
Design Team Fishbeck, Encompass Socio-ecological Consulting, River Restoration

City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Whitewater, Grand River Network, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., Kent County & Great Lakes Fisheries Commission

Project Leader Andy Guy & Catherine Zietse

Latest News / Grand River Corridor / July 17, 2021

Whitecaps reveal “Grand Rapids Dam Breakers” persona that will bring more awareness to Grand Rapids Whitewater project

West Michigan Whitecaps Manager Brayan Pena answered his phone. The call was from Jim Jarecki, Whitecaps VP & General Manager. Pena listens intently, then smiles. “We’re doing WHAT?” Jarecki was calling to get some Whitecaps players set up for a photo shoot on the banks of the Grand River. They would be dressed in a new uniform; with a new name they would not recognize.