Marquette boardwalk project moves forward

Mar 14, 2019

MARQUETTE, MI--   Construction on a public boardwalk over pilings at Founder’s Landing could begin in Marquette this fall. 

Mayor Fred Stonehouse

This week the City Commission approved a contract for GEI Consultants to create designs for the project.

The state says the city has to use the red pine pilings or remove them. Removal would cost around $3 million.

Mayor Fred Stonehouse says the plan is to “cap” them with pier- or boardwalk-like structures that will allow greater public access to the waterfront. He says some of the pilings date from the 1870s and 1880s, but they won’t be required to bear any load.

“The design that’s being explored is one of actually putting a steel structure—support structure—on top of the pilings and putting the dock on top of the steel. So the pilings will not be used for structural bearing, but rather will be there as part of the ambient history of that area,” he says.

Stonehouse says the city needs to bring in sand to stabilize the existing pilings. Engineers will collaborate with a project to dredge the Presque Isle marina for a new pier and use that sand for the Founder’s Landing project. Reusing the sand will save the city about $300,000.

Approval of final designs for the $5.5 million project could come in the next month or so. Money to pay for it will come through a Brownfield grant.

Stonehouse says the piers will allow for fishing, human-powered craft like kayaks and rowing shells, and another area where boats can dock at meters.

If plans are approved, the City Commission hopes to break ground this fall.