Fundraising goal reduced for Grand Haven pier project

GRAND HAVEN, MICH. - City officials say they have a clearer picture of what it will take to restore the Grand Haven south pier catwalk.

Based on recently opened bids, it will cost an estimated $800,000 to fix up the catwalk. This has brought down the overall cost of the project from $1.5 million to $1 million, according to the Grand Haven Tribune.

"It's like we raised a half-million dollars by bringing the price down a half-million dollars," City Manager Pat McGinnis said of the revised numbers.

The King Co. and West Shore Services are the two apparent low bidders, and McGinnis noted that it will likely be an approximately $800,000 renovation expense.

"We're trying to work through the details to see who has the preferred project approach," McGinnis said. "I hope to come back before (City Council) with a clear recommendation."

Mayor Geri McCaleb said she’s enthusiastic over the news.

“It was great to hear the revised numbers to repair the catwalk — we all want to see the catwalk back up when the pier work is complete,” she said. “We are grateful to the Verplank Coal and Dock Co. for the storage solution and to the City Council for continuing to look at alternatives.”

Grand Haven officials have been looking at how to deal with the catwalk since the end of 2015 when word came that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had secured funding to reconstruct the surface of the south pier. The first suggestion was to remove the aged and obsolete structure — an idea quickly dismissed by City Council.

The city initially planned to lift the pier while the Corps of Engineers completed the work at a cost of nearly $500,000, and had estimated that it would cost $1 million to restore the catwalk.

With this in mind, the Save the Catwalk committee organized and set a goal to raise $1.5 million earlier this year.

"We've raised about a quarter-million dollars so far," McGinnis said. "We've got a lot of fundraisers planned."

In April, it was discovered that the structure could be temporarily moved off the pier and then replaced once the pier work was done for a combined total of about $200,000. The Verplank Dock Co. agreed to store the catwalk.

City officials say this could have an impact on the restoration price, too.

"It's going to be less expensive to restore it on dry land than on the water," McGinnis said.

Grand Haven Tribune


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