GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Construction crews have started putting together the iconic Grand Haven pier catwalk.
On Thursday, pieces of the skeletal aluminum structure were taken out to the pier. The project is supposed to be completed sometime in July.
To many, the catwalk has been more than a skeletal frame over the Grand Haven pier. It’s an icon.
Don Bixeman has lived most of his life in nearby Spring Lake and has watched the progress of construction on the pier through his camera lens.
“These last couple years, have been watching the reconstruction. Now we’ve gotten to the point where we’re almost done,” Bixeman said.
The catwalk was taken away in 2016 before the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started a $2.6 million rebuild of the Grand Haven South Pier. The plan was to repair the parts of the catwalk that needed to be repaired and put it back up once the pier work was done. But time and the elements had taken their toll and it needed to be replaced.
The city didn’t have the money, so the community banded together. The Save the Catwalk fundraising effort got underway. Despite a series of setbacks and delays, by last Christmas, the group had reached its $1 million goal. The catwalk was saved.
“The public here is so generous with their money. It is really outstanding,” Bixeman said.
Reinstallation is supposed to take 25 working days. Depending on the weather and other factors, supporters hope to have the catwalk in place sometime in July.
“It’s taken a while, it’s taken 2, 3 years now to get this done. …To me, that’s an awful long time,” Bixeman said. “But on the other hand, when it’s done it’s done. It will be gorgeous out here.”
You can follow the progress of the reconstruction on the Save the Catwalk Facebook page.