GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — The catwalk on Grand Haven's pier has been a fixture in the community ever since it was built 95 years ago. But the future of the iconic structure is in question since repairs wer scheduled for the pier's infrastructure.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to make those repairs, but the City of Grand Haven, which owns the catwalk, must raise the catwalk four inches from where it currently sits or the U.S. Corps of Engineers will remove it to make room for the repairs.
"I think this is a great thing to keep up and to take care of," said John Crowder of Grand Rapids visiting Grand Haven.
"Its part of our history," chimed in his wife, Ann Crowder. "You don't see these very often on piers and such, so it's a good thing to keep up."
Saving the catwalk comes with a hefty price. The City of Grand Haven must spend $1.5 million not only to raise the structure but to repair it. Mother Nature has taken a toll: years of wind, waves, and ice have caused corrosion. Bolts are missing, and some supports now lean toward the shore.
"It needs to be saved for the future, because it is an important aesthetic component to what Grand Haven offers to our community and to other people," said Erin Turrell of Save The Catwalk campaign.
Grand Haven's pier is also popular among many photographers year round. Jon Brignall visited the Grand Haven State Park Saturday from Plainwell for a different environment to take photographs. "It's important to preserve this so we have it, not just for the photographers and for what we do, but its just part of Michigan and we need to keep it," he said.
A fundraiser on January 30 kicked off what will be one of many to save the cherished landmark.
"People enjoy walking on the pier, walking around it (the catwalk), and getting their picture taken," said Turrell. "People get married out here because its not just a lighthouse."