The campaign has less than $150,000 left to raise, the city said.
“This community continues to live up to its legacy of generously supporting causes that it cares about,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “As we close in on our goal to replace the catwalk, the grass-roots steering committee is inspired to not only meet that goal, but build an endowment fund to perpetually care for the structure.”
Committee chairwoman Erin Turrell said she is encouraged with the progress of the fundraiser to date, which has resulted in hundreds of individual contributions of all sizes to the Save the Catwalk fund.
“This fundraising initiative has been grass roots from the beginning with everyone in our caring Tri-Cities community choosing to get involved in any way they can,” Turrell said.
The catwalk was converted from wood to cast iron in 1921, and the double row of lights was added in 1988 after a community fundraiser in 1987. Ninety-five winters of ice and wave damage have taken a toll on the structure, and each of the 59 arches, or “bents,” that form the catwalk require restoration or replacement.
Members of the community and city officials first gathered in August 2015 to discuss the catwalk’s restoration. Discussions were prompted by an engineering study of the catwalk and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ plans for the repair of the south pier.
The current cost estimates for the catwalk total $1 million. According to the city, the construction and costs have been broken down into the following five phases:
Phase 1 – Remove and store catwalk: $84,000
Phase 1.5 – Purchase American-made steel: $250,000
Phase 2 – Restore and/or replace Type I bents: $60,000
Phase 3 – Restore and/or replace Type II bents: $250,000
Phase 4 – Restore and/or replace Type III bents: $220,000
Phase 5 – Reinstallation of catwalk: $115,000
Phase 6 – Replace lights, communications and security cameras: $21,000
The Grand Haven Area Community Foundation established a fund to hold and administer the tax-deductible donations. To make a donation, visit www.ghacf.org/donate and designate “catwalk”; or send a check with “Save the Catwalk” in the memo line to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, 1 S. Harbor Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Donors of $2,500 or more will be memorialized with a personalized bronze plaque that will be placed on the pier.
To remain current on the Save the Catwalk project, connect at Facebook.com/savethecatwalk or call City Hall at 616-847-4888.