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Catwalk, pier plans topic of Monday work session

Alex Doty • May 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Grand Haven leaders hope to have a better vision of the south pier catwalk’s future after a City Council work session on Monday.

The work session is set for 3 p.m. at City Hall, 519 Washington Ave. Council will discuss a proposal from the King Co. — the company that’ll work on the pier project — to remove, store and replace the catwalk during planned pier repair work by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which begins later this year.

“They’ve given us a proposal, but City Council hasn’t taken action on that proposal right now,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

McGinnis said the work session will allow council members to ask questions of the contractor about their methodology, including how they plan to remove the catwalk, how and where it would be stored, and how it would be replaced on the pier.

“That’s why the mayor asked that we schedule a City Council work session,” McGinnis said.

The catwalk needs to be raised up during the pier repair process or else it would have to be removed.

There are also plans in the works to make repairs to the catwalk during the next few years. The catwalk is made up of 59 “bents,” or arches, each in a varying form of disrepair — some can be repaired while others need to be replaced.

City officials say the most current estimate for catwalk work is $1.5 million, and the Save the Catwalk group has established several avenues for donations and hosted various fundraisers. The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation has a fund established to handle the administration of project money.

McGinnis said Monday’s meeting may help clear up some financial numbers for the project.

“Getting a real number on that gives the fundraisers more clarity, and donors more clarity, of what they’re being asked to support,” he said.

The Corps of Engineers’ work will begin later this summer, McGinnis said, and is expected to be completed by December 2017. During the project, the pier will be off-limits to the public.

“We’re hoping that they can get it done before Coast Guard (Festival) next year,” McGinnis said. “We think they have every intent to get it done quickly.”

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