GRAND HAVEN, Mich. - The iconic catwalk is coming back to the Grand Haven pier.
The Save the Catwalk Committee of Grand Haven announced Thursday that they surpassed their goal and raised $1,088,706 to help repair and reinstate the catwalk onto the pier. A recent $50,000 grant from the Loutit Foundation helped reach the group's $1 million goal.
"It’s been a great community effort," said Grand Haven Mayor Geri McCaleb. "And we’re just extremely gratified, extremely relieved that we’ve made our goal. It was a big number to come up with."
Fundraising began around July 2015, and the catwalk was removed from the pier last year. Save the Catwalk Committee Chair Erin Turrell says she's hopeful the catwalk will be reinstated next fall, adding the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' work is about two-thirds complete resurfacing the pier's surface.
With high water levels, all of this work is weather dependent, which also delayed the start of the Corps' work until earlier this year.
"It’s really important that we put it back on, not just for the visual, because it’s such a symbol of Grand Haven, everybody knows Grand Haven by looking at that pier with the catwalk on it, but it’s also works a very strong lifesaving duty," said Mayor McCaleb.
Meanwhile, McCaleb and Turrell say donations continue to come in to help build their endowment fund, which will pay for ongoing maintenance of the catwalk. The goal for the endowment fund is an additional $250,000.
"We want to sure that we have some donations put into an endowment for ongoing maintenance, so that it can be continued to be worked on and inspected to make sure that it doesn’t fall into disrepair over the next 50 to 100 years," said Turrell.