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Wayne is a city in Wayne County in Michigan west of Detroit. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 17,593. Ford Motor Company has two plants here; Wayne Stamping & Assembly and the Michigan Assembly Plant, formerly known as Michigan Truck Plant. The Michigan Assembly Plant began manufacturing the third generation, North American Ford Focus on December 14, 2010.
As of 2006, Downtown Wayne began to undergo a revitalization & growth program, with the assistance of Andrews University – Urban Design Studio. Completed projects have included the new fire station on Wayne Road, the new police station on Michigan Avenue, and the new Department of Public Works on Forest. Plans in the program includes adding Wayne as a Transit Department train stop on Washington Street.
In 2006, the Downtown Development Authority launched several beautification projects including streetscape and parking lot improvements and three City-operated hiking trails which border the city.
Wayne was first settled in the 1820s. Soon a hamlet began to develop known as Derby’s Corners. In 1836 the name of the settlement was changed to Wayne in honor of General Anthony Wayne. In 1869 Wayne was incorporated as a village. Its population and industrial production significantly increased after World War II.
Wayne’s population was 19,899 in 1990, more than its 2000 population.
On December 29, 2010, according to an Associated Press news story featured on the AOL News homepage, a family-owned furniture store (located in downtown Wayne about 15 miles southwest of Detroit) exploded and collapsed in what authorities believed to be a natural gas explosion, critically injuring the store’s owner, Paul Franks (who was listed in serious condition in the burn unit of the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor), and trapping two others beneath the rubble, after a failed attempt by area police to locate them using their cellular phones. Later, Wayne City Manager John Zech said rescuers using search dogs found the body of salesman James Zell, 64, of Westland, in the debris left by the explosion at the store. At some point afterwards, Shawn Bell, Wayne’s deputy fire marshal, said that workers found the body of a woman in the rubble, and that she was a clerical worker for the store in her fifties, who was also from Westland. Police and fire officials, who said that it would be highly unlikely for anyone else to have survived under the concrete, had evacuated nearby homes and businesses, where the power had been fluctuating. The blast, which left a heavy scent of natural gas, was likened by one witness to a bombing; it broke nearby windows and could be felt miles away.
The city, located on the Lower River Rouge which bisects the city, is bound on the north by Glenwood Road, the west by Hannan Road, the south by Van Born Road, and on the east by Merriman Road. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.02 square miles (15.59 km2), all land.