Houghton’s pier project is moving onto the next phase.
Crews should finish pile driving supports on the north side of the Lakeshore Center and should finish in a couple weeks. Following some brief time off work should resume in March, dependent on the weather. If all goes well, officials hope to have a grand opening in this summer.
“They’ll be finishing that last set of cells up in the next couple of weeks here. We’ve still got a piece to finish on the east end of it, but we’re working on some utility issues with that right now. They’re going to start running conduit, and utilities and things like that. Before they start putting the top dressing on once the snow melts. And that’ll be, you know, concrete sidewalks, landscaping, pavers, things like that. And then as we get into summer, around Memorial Day time things will really start taking shape down there.” – City Manager, Eric Waara
The project got a $4 million grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation last summer. The total budget is set at 5 million dollars. The city is dedicating $1 million dollars.
The place-making-project is a part of the city’s redevelopment plan. Soon after the proposed improvements were announced, Houghton was certified as a Redevelopment Ready Community. The pier is expected to be a central gathering place for community events and a way to put more use into an underutilized section of the city’s waterfront.
“Now we certainly want to have the venue for sponsored farmers markets, your summer concerts, or just gatherings. And getting those centrally located in the downtown area, where that generates traffic for local businesses, as well as make downtown an attractive place for people to live. The project is scheduled to be substantially completed by the end of June. You know there’s a lot of little details. And then final completion is actually set for in July. So what we’re thinking is, if youre going to consider a grand opening or something like that. We would probably do something around Labor Day.” – Eric Waara
The pier place-making project is one aspect of Houghton’s overall plan to use city land to benefit of the public. City officials call it a major step forward for city redevelopment.