A project set in motion in 2015 will soon come to a close.
The final of more than 50 supporting arches, or bents, for the new catwalk on Grand Haven’s south pier was recently set in place.
The catwalk was removed in 2016 for a reconstruction project on the pier and fundraising efforts started the climb toward a $1 million goal to have the iconic local structure returned when work was completed. In May, the first bents were installed in their new home on the far end of the pier.
With the completion of the bents, Erin Turrell, who has spearheaded efforts to save the catwalk, said work is about 85 percent complete and estimates the project will come to a close by the end of the month.
“We replaced all but five metal bents,” she said, noting the five not replaced were restored. “A lot of new technology went into the new bents and the ones we restored in the interest of longevity.”
Turrell said the bents removed from the pier weighed between 550 and 750 pounds, while the newer supports weigh between 950 and 1,100 pounds. Members of the previous catwalk were a fourth an inch thick, she said, and the newer counterparts are three-eighths of an inch thick.
“The American steel quality is better now than what the previous one had,” Turrell said.
During the process, Turrell noted the contractor lost 26 working days due to high water levels. With water flowing over the pier, crews could not pour concrete, she said.
“We are on time and on budget and are beyond excited to get our pier back,” said Grand Haven City Manager Pat McGinnis.
Now in the home stretch toward completion, stringers and the rest of the lights will need to be placed and plaques will be set along the bases of the bents.