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Grand Haven Catwalk 'over 85 percent complete,' officials say

They expect it to be "substantially complete" by the week of Aug. 26.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Three months after construction began, the iconic Grand Haven South Pier catwalk is "over 85 percent complete," officials said Monday. 

"All major components have been finished," said Dave Herweyer, project engineer with King Co. "Now we have detail work to do, bracket installation, touch up painting." 

The reconstructed steel catwalk is replacing the metal structure that was removed in 2016. The catwalk has been a pillar of the lakeshore in Grand Haven since the 1870s, said Wally Ewing, a local historian. 

"It's symbolic, it's iconic, it represents Grand Haven," Ewing said. "That is why I think it was important to have it rebuilt." 

City leaders initially hoped construction would be complete before the Coast Guard Festival. Extreme weather and historic high water levels on Lake Michigan cost crews at least 22 working days. 

"It's unsafe to work on the pier when waves are breaking over the structure," Herweyer said. "If we even had reasonable non-working weather days, typically one or two days a week, we would have been nearly completed prior to the Coast Guard Festival."

RELATED: 'It's part of us' | Grand Haven catwalk expected up in June, complete by July

All 59 of the catwalks steel bents have been installed. Crews spent Monday wrapping up the stairway portion at the east end of the pier and installing knee brackets on the lower part of the structure. 

To date, workers have committed over 10,000 hours to the project for fabrication and installation, Herweyer said. 

"The project will be substantially complete by the week of August 26," he said. "It has been a privilege to work with the city and our design/installation team to work through design issues and mitigate the...challenges of such a unique project."

The city of Grand Haven and community members raised $1 million in 2017 for the project. The catwalk, joining the lighthouse and foghorn house on the pier, will create a "complete picture" in Grand Haven, Ewing said. 

"That cements what Grand Haven is," he said. 

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