Over the weekend Houghton broke out the new pier for it’s first ever event, the Fall Festival. Saturday’s weather allowed for a large crowd to gather on the new place making project, for music, a hayride, and games. In total the pier’s construction came in on budget, ever after an issue with locating cables operated by AT&T, came up during placement of the pier’s supports.
“When we bid this project, we also bid in a contingency. When the contractor submitted his bid, we had, basically already filled in something on the bid form. And we had like 160,000 and change, so to speak, on the bid form because in case something happens. Which it did. We are going to spend that money on the, just-in-case, the unforeseen circumstance. That’s called a contingency amount.” – Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager
Houghton’s new pier was funded in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and will become a centerpiece of Houghton’s downtown. The pier has endless possibilities for use by the city and it’s residents. Throughout the year residents and visitors will likely see cruise ship arrivals, festivals, concerts and more at the pier.
“That’s one feature that, oh, well this cruise thing is coming in. We should make plans for how can we accommodate for that. But it was never the original idea for this space. But, since the 90’s, the city had plans, we want to do something like this, down there. And so you can have an event there, but part of the reason why this was built was to draw people to our downtown, because we have so much to offer.” – Eric Waara, Houghton City Manager
The pier has finished substantial completion, allowing the city to begin using the space. Over the remainder of October, there will be some small items worked on, such as paving the road in front of the pier. The city will still need to make some final decision on if they will offer space for rental and other operation details in the coming months.