Photos: Springtime on Belle Isle is a construction hell


It's springtime on Belle Isle. That means months of the usual Detroit Grand Prix construction, traffic jams, concrete barriers, fencing, cables, billboards, construction barrels, grandstands, cranes, torn up grass, tents, bulldozers, and limited access to the island. But this year, the public park is in even worse shape. We visited it on Saturday and found the race expanded its footprint. Several other restoration projects are taking place, and parts of Belle Isle are closed due to flooding. The flooding and projects would be manageable were it not for the gigantic perennial Grand Prix construction mess, but the island was chaotic on a busy Saturday afternoon. Beyond the inconvenience, it's now a dangerous place for pedestrians and cyclists. Set up for the May 30 race starts in early April and won't be cleared until late June. Remediation for the damage it does to the island will take another month or so, while damage to the grass is permanent.

Photos by Tom Perkins