Belle Isle Water Slide Demolished, Making Way For New Amenities [VIDEO]

July 30, 2018 - 1:23 pm

DETROIT (WWJ) - The old water slide on Detroit's Belle Isle is coming down.

As part of an effort to enhance the beach at the popular island park, demolition began on more than 20-year-old structure Monday morning, on the island's north end. 

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which manages the park as part of a lease agreement with the city, recruited the Farrow Group, a contractor which donated its services to tear down the slide, which opened in 1996. 

"We should be done by tomorrow evening," said Farrow Group president Michael Farrow, telling WWJ's Jason Scott that much of the material will be hauled away to be recycled. 

DNR officials said, as the slide was "well past its useful lifespan" -- with significant disrepair and investment needs -- money it took to maintain the aging slide would be better spent to revitalize the beach area, replacing the slide with a splash park and patio. 

"The new amenities will blend into the natural beauty of the island and offer water play activities for park users of all ages and abilities," the DNR said, in a media release. 

The plan -- put together by the DNR, city of Detroit and Belle Isle Conservancy -- also includes enhanced seating, landscaping and parking, at an estimated total cost of $3.5 million. 

Officials said the work would be done in phases as money is raised.