The pier along Lake Michigan in Grand Haven is deteriorating and the US Army Corps of Engineers is urging people to be extra cautious.
GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - The pier along Lake Michigan in Grand Haven is deteriorating and the US Army Corps of Engineers is urging people to be extra cautious. The problem stems from a lack of funding and is expected to get worse.
The entrance to the pier has warning signs and a memorial with the faces of two young men, Dan Reiss and Andy Fox.
"I just went through Mothers Day yesterday without my son. It has been 8 years, but it still hurts. I don't want anyone else to lose a loved one unnecessarily," says Vicki Cech, Andy's mother.
The US Army Corps of Engineers says the tale of caution has never been more important because much of the pier is deteriorating.
"There's a lot of slipping or tripping hazards, cracks, little holes in the concrete," says Tom O'Bryan with the Lake Michigan Army Corp of Engineers.
There are additional safety measures on the pier. Every 100 feet is a life ring that is connected to the 911 Center. However, O'Bryan says the pier itself hasn't had a major repair since the 1950's because of a lack of funding.
"Obviously its hard to put a value on lives but we have so many priorities across the nation for our federal tax dollars," says O'Bryan.
"I live it everyday. I want people to be safe and enjoy this beautiful pier and the water," says Cech.
City officials say if the pier is safely improved, they'd like to open tours to the lighthouse someday.
O'Bryan says at this point, there have been no serious injuries because of the poor condition of the pier. He says fixing it would cost $1.5 million.
By Alex Shabad