News

Sea Lamprey trap built by IMS

Trail Creek barrier shields Lake Michigan from ‘disaster’

The Times of Northwest Indiana

April 20, 2012

MICHIGAN CITY | One invasive species that has plagued Lake Michigan for years is less likely to continue to spread locally.

Close to 50 people, including science students from the nearby Krueger Middle School, gathered in a frigid downpour at Trail Creek and Springland Avenue on Friday morning for the dedication of the sea lamprey barrier.

The Trail Creek barrier was constructed through a partnership between the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The barrier will work to reduce the sea lamprey population in two ways – by preventing them from moving to spawning areas thereby reducing the population over time and trapping them. The barrier allows favorable fish to swim through or jump over it and pass between the creek and the lake.

“Sea lamprey have been a disaster for Lake Michigan,” said Bill James, chief of fisheries for the IDNR and a member of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission. “Sea lamprey really changed the way of life for Great Lakes fisheries.”

Sea lamprey are native to the Atlantic but arrived in the Great Lakes 76 years ago via seaways. The parasitic, eel-like fish attaches its round, sucker mouth rimmed with teeth to healthy fish and sucks the fluids from them.

One sea lamprey can destroy more than 40 pounds of Great Lakes fish during its lifetime.

Sea lamprey have no predators in the Great Lakes and nearly destroyed regional fisheries in the 1960s. Applications of lampricides and the construction of barriers in tributaries have helped slow their progression, James said, but there is more to be done.

James said Great Lakes fisheries are a $7 billion industry in the U.S. and Canada that are threatened by the sea lamprey.

Jake Van Effen, biological science technician for the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service, presented James with the first wriggling lamprey caught in the trap to the shrieks of the middle school students gathered for the event.

Charlie Wooley, deputy regional director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, said his agency will operate and maintain the barrier.

In the past 40 years, Trail Creek has been treated eight times with a lampricide to try to keep the sea lamprey from entering Lake Michigan. Wooley said each application cost $150,000.

“We won’t have to do that anymore and we’ll be able to use those resources elsewhere in the Great Lakes to help control the sea lamprey,” Wooley said.

 

 

Lane widening finished at the south end of the International Bridge

SooToday.com

September 02, 2011

 

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI – Customs and Border Protection is joining with the International Bridge Administration and GSA to announce that work to widen the pavement between the south end of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and the CBP primary inspection booths has been completed.

“This project has already provided improved efficiency in the flow of traffic,” stated Devin Chamberlain, CBP Port director. “Commercial trucks are taking advantage of the additional space in the lower queue, providing room for passenger vehicles on the upper plaza.”

The goal of this $1,087,695 (USD) project, federally funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, was to mitigate the “bottleneck” created when southbound trucks prevent southbound passenger vehicles from accessing the CBP inspection booths.

This has been accomplished by widening the pavement between the end of the bridge and the inspection booths, allowing more space for trucks awaiting inspection.

“This project will improve bridge customer safety and bridge traffic efficiency by getting trucks off the bridge and onto separate queuing lanes,” stated Phil Becker, the manager of the International Bridge Administration, the public agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of the bridge structure. “The truck ‘bottleneck’ was, by far, the biggest concern we heard from our customers.”

The contracting agency was the U.S. General Services Administration.

A “design-build” contracting process was used to expedite the project.

The lead contractor was Industrial Maintenance Services, Inc. from Wells, Michigan.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security responsible for  the management, control, and protection of our Nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry.

CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

 


2nd and 3rd from left: Jon Gartland and Joe Darmogray of IMS

Gladstone St. Vincent’s de Paul breaks ground on new expansion

The Daily Press

May 16, 2011


GLADSTONE – Increased demand for services have dictated an additional expansion of the current St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP) facility in Gladstone. A groundbreaking ceremony for an addition to the facility was held last week.

SVDS has been serving Delta County for more than 45 years. According to SVDP officials, the addition will enhance the ability of the group to serve those in need in many ways. The 7,400 square feet of additional space will include a basement area and upper level.

Two client services rooms will be added to allow volunteers to interview and service clients in a more private and compassionate manner.

The food bank will be relocated from the basement to the first floor. The move will allow for more food to be stored with easier access. A loading dock will also be installed to assist in the food handling process.

Big ticket items will also be moved up from the basement. This will allow for more donations without increased labor and handling. The new big ticket area will be for displaying and selling larger household items like dressers, beds, tables and chairs. Moving these items will make them available to shoppers with physical limitations and help increase sales, SVDP officials said.

The donation of household items is a major source of income for the store.

In recent months the number of those in need has risen sharply and SVDP officials said they believe this trend will continue. Gladstone St. Vincent’s Building Capital Fund Drive started with a $500 donation from the Gladstone Lions. Sponsors of the annual Escanaba Downtown Ribfest also announced funds from Ribfest 2011, to be held June 3 from 3 to 6 p.m., will be donated to the fund drive. Area businesses, service clubs, churches and private citizens are being asked by the SVDP to find out more and assist however they can. Donations can be mailed to: P.O. Box 310 Gladstone, MI 49837 or dropped off at the St. Vincent de Paul store in Gladstone. Checks should be made out to: Gladstone St. Vincent de Paul Building Capital Fund Drive.

 


Bridge project expected to reduce traffic congestion

The Soo Evening News

April 21, 2011


Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. — Work to widen the pavement between the south end of the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) inspection booths is expected to begin in April.

The goal of this $1,087,695 (USD) project (federally funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) is to reduce the occurrences of a traffic “bottleneck” when southbound trucks prevent southbound passenger vehicles from accessing the inspection booths. This will be accomplished by widening the pavement between the end of the bridge and the inspection booths, allowing more space for trucks awaiting inspection.

The project will start in late-April 2011 and be complete by mid-September 2011.

Disruption to bridge traffic will be minimized and all current inspection lanes will remain useable. Interference with bridge traffic due to this project is expected to be rare and short term. Removing this bottleneck in the flow of traffic is expected to reduce wait time and congestion, reduce engine idling exhaust emissions and promote traffic safety.

The contracting agency is the U.S. General Services Administration. A “design-build” contracting process is being used to expedite the project. The lead contractor is Industrial Maintenance Services, Inc. from Wells, Michigan.

 

 

IMS employees completing grate installation

ARRA Abandoned Mine Closing Project – Phase I

USFS Success Stories

July 07, 2010

 

Over 100 years after the last echo of the miners’ pick was heard and the last pack mule had climbed the steep rocky trails, the sound of human activity once again reverberated off the rock cliffs in the Norwich area of the Ottawa National Forest. This time, however, it was not the sounds of sinking new shafts, but rather those of closing the century-old mine shafts with iron grates. And the noise now heard was not that of mining corporations looking for a fortune in copper, but that of a Michigan construction company weathering the sluggish economy through a contract funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money.

When the Ottawa National Forest acquired tens of thousands of acres of forests, water, and wildlife in the 1930’s, it also became the owner of dozens of old mine shafts and adits that remained as the miners had left them many decades earlier. All of these mine openings posed safety risks and too many were downright dangerous with depths of several hundred feet or more. In addition to the safety factor posed by these deep shafts, a recently detected disease was beginning to decimate bat populations throughout the eastern US, particularly in hibernating areas such as caves and mines.

Closing shafts that can be easily reach by vehicles can be costly enough, but when the shafts occur in steep, rocky, and remote country without roads, the cost can easily exceed available funds. The Forest was receiving modest funding through annual appropriations, but much more money was needed to make all of the abandoned mines safe. An unexpected source of funding in the form of ARRA proved to be the answer.

To take advantage of this funding meant promptly conducting a NEPA analysis, preparing contract specifications, arranging a pre-bid field review, and ultimately awarding a contract. Prep work was completed during the fall of 2009, and in November a pre-bid field trip was held. Scheduling a field trip in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in November is a gamble with weather, and the odds are seldom in favor of those doing the scheduling. Never-the-less the weather was accommodating and ten people representing seven contractors spent the day visiting the project site.

Industrial Maintenance Services, Inc. (IMS) from Escanaba, Michigan, was the successful bidder on the contract and they were excited to begin work. All the Forest needed now was someone to oversee the contract. Geologist Tim Buxton agreed to be the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR), but because Tim resides in New Hampshire, he needed someone to provide the day-to-day oversight. Once more ARRA came to the rescue. Using the authority to hire retired annuitants granted by ARRA, the Forest was able to coax Robert Wagner out of retirement to serve as the on-the-ground inspector.

Work began with the moving of equipment and materials to the project site. It was well known that access to the site would be as great a challenge as fabricating the closures. The rugged, unroaded terrain required a combination of snowmobiles, ATVs, hand-carrying, and even a team of mules to move tons of iron and equipment to the mine shafts.

Delivering materials and equipment to the project site was only half the battle. The other half of the fight was to devise a safe way to construct an iron grate over the mine opening. This is where Steve Smith came in. Steve, a bat researcher, spelunker, and mine safety expert from the local area was hired by the contractor to secure a safe working area and to teach the contractor’s employees how to properly harness and work from a safety line.

The contractor started constructing the closures in the middle of May, and even though frequent rain caused delays, by early July, the Phase 1 contract was completed and nine mine openings had been successfully and safely closed. Phase 2 has subsequently been awarded and the closure of an additional 21 mine openings is scheduled to begin in late July.

The ARRA funds received by the Ottawa will not only provide work to two Michigan construction companies, but will also have the multiplier effect of supporting local businesses and communities. With these funds the Forest will be able to remediate the unsafe condition posed by the abandoned mines in a matter of months, and not the years it may have taken. For the Norwich area, closing these mines is the first step in developing an interpretive site planned to highlight the mining history of the area.

Story submitted by: Chuck Frank, Ottawa National Forest

 

 

 

Mules haul half ton load of steel to mine construction site

Unique stimulus project requires mule team

TV6 News

June 15, 2010

 

ONTONAGON COUNTY — It might not have been what President Obama was thinking when he said he wanted to put people back to work. But mules, Kit and Kate, don’t mind the work.

In perhaps one of the most unique stimulus projects in the country, Dale Venema’s mule team from Ontonagon haul half ton loads of steel beams up steep grades over a quarter of a mile to the old site of the Windsor mine.

It’s one of several stimulus projects the National Forest Service won for the summer.

“I’ve been on some steep hills, but not this long of a stretch; shorter inclines,” said Venema. “Some of these are like 40 to 50 yards.”

Industrial Maintenance Services from Escanaba uses the steel beams to create grated enclosures to cover the mine’s seven shafts. Besides safety, the grates will also maintain bat habitat.

“They’re very dangerous for people, even though it’s a remote area,” said National Forest Service employee, Tim Buxton. “But they’re also bat habitat. Bats are pretty sensitive to their environment. If there is too many people going in and out of mines, that disturbs them, especially during critical times.”

The 150-year-old mine is nestled atop the Norwich escarpment in the Ottawa National Forest. And they’re not exactly little hills. The steepest grades are at least 40 percent with sand and rocks all along the way.

For Dale’s mules, it wasn’t a problem. After all, the path they take is the called the “Old Mule Trail”.

“Very tough work,” Buxton said. “It’s amazing. You think back to the miners doing this 150 years ago with picks and shovels and mules. It’s kind of a going full circle kind of thing.”

A unique solution for a unique stimulus project in Ontonagon County.

 

 

A crane lifts away portions of the timber crib underlying Petoskey’s breakwater. An ongoing rehabilitation project along part of the barrier involves lining it with additional stones, demolishing a portion of the cribbing and installing a flat surfaced concrete walkway on top.

Petoskey Breakwater work proceeding on schedule

Petoskey News

June 07, 2010


Rehabilitation work along part of Petoskey’s breakwater continues to follow the anticipated timetable, a representative for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said last week.

This year’s $3.5 million project — paid for with federal economic stimulus funds — involves a 600-foot-long section near the center of the breakwater. In its first few weeks, the work has involved breaking up the concrete cap along that section of breakwater, dismantling the underlying timber cribbing down to a level three feet below the water line and piling many tons of stones along the barrier’s sides to shore it up.

The demolition and stone placement are expected to continue into July, and will be followed by the installation of a new, flat-surfaced concrete walkway on top.

At about 18 feet, the walkway along this stretch of breakwater will be about half the width of the one in place on the federally owned breakwater’s outermost 300 feet — which was updated last year.

Jim Hop, who is serving as a construction representative for the Corps of Engineers at the project site, said this year’s work — begun in late April — remains on track to meet the projected Aug. 23 completion date.

The breakwater traditionally has been a popular destination for strolling and fishing. But during the ongoing project, Hop said crews occasionally have had to ask visitors to leave because of construction hazards.

“It’s going to be closed off (to the public) until pretty close to the (project’s) end,” Hop said. “It is kind of hazardous to be out there. You’re supposed to have a hard hat and life jacket.”

Escanaba-based IMS is serving as general contractor for the work, with Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan involved as a key subcontractor. Stones for the project are delivered regularly by barge from a supplier in Cedarville.

The 300-foot portion of the breakwater closest to land isn’t slated for updates. Noting that its understructure is more protected from the elements by sand, corps staff have said this segment is more structurally sound than portions farther out.

Some March 2006 damage to the breakwater — with a 50-foot section of the concrete cap being knocked away in a mid-March windstorm — prompted more attention to be focused on the need to rehabilitate the aging structure. Later in 2006, the corps piled large stones in the damaged section to shore up the structure temporarily.

 

 

Construction crews soon will arrive in Petoskey to get started with the remaining phase of rehabilitation work that’s slated for the breakwater shielding the city marina

More breakwater repairs coming soon

Petoskey News

April 27, 2010


Construction crews soon will arrive in Petoskey to get started with the remaining phase of rehabilitation work that’s slated for the breakwater shielding the city marina.

Staff at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Grand Haven office said materials and equipment should be arriving in Petoskey’s harbor around Wednesday, April 28, and that work on the federally owned breakwater could start this week as well.

The project is expected to take at least three months to complete. The breakwater — a popular destination for strolling and fishing — will be off limits during much of that timeframe because of the construction activity.

“It won’t be long before they close the structure down to the public,” said Tom O’Brien, area engineer with the Corps in Grand Haven.

The upcoming work, which has a pricetag of about $3.5 million and will be paid for using federal stimulus funds, follows updates that were performed last year on the breakwater’s outermost 300 feet.

The soon-to-start phase of work will concentrate on a 600-foot breakwater segment that’s the next farthest from shore. Along this stretch, the corps ultimately plans to demolish the existing structure to a point about three feet below the water level.

Stone will be used to shore up the structure along its sides in this area, and a full concrete walkway, similar to the one farther out, will be built on top.

Escanaba-based IMS will serve as a general contractor for the upcoming work, with Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan to be a key subcontractor.

An attempt was made last fall to start the project, but O’Brien said work was delayed by an equipment failure after just a couple of stones were set in place.

The 300-foot portion of the breakwater closest to land isn’t slated for updates. Noting that its understructure is more protected from the elements by sand, O’Brien has said this segment is more structurally sound than portions farther out.

Some March 2006 damage to the breakwater — with a 50-foot section of the concrete cap being knocked away in a mid-March windstorm — prompted more attention to be focused on the need to rehabilitate the aging structure. Later in 2006, the corps piled large stones in the damaged section to shore up the structure temporarily.

 

 

More Petoskey breakwater work in store

Petoskey News

November 05, 2009

 

A bit more rehabilitation work is in store for Petoskey’s breakwater before contractors wind down the federally funded project for the winter.

Tom O’Brien, area engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Grand Haven, said barges with materials and construction equipment for the project are expected to arrive in Petoskey this weekend.

This fall’s remaining work – which likely will start early next week – will focus on placement of stones along the west (outward) side of the breakwater that shields Petoskey’s municipal marina to help shore up the aging structure.

“They’ll be in there a couple of weeks, I guess,” O’Brien said. “Everything is weather-dependent.”

The breakwater likely will need to be closed to the public while work is taking place, O’Brien said, but “for the most part, they’ll try to keep it open for the weekends and at night.”

Earlier this year, the corps and its contractors refurbished the outermost 300 feet of the breakwater, installing steel sheeting to form new sidewalls and filling the structure with stone and additional concrete capping. The U.S. Coast Guard updated the light tower at the breakwater’s tip as well.

The upcoming phase of work – which will cost an expected $3.8 million and be paid for using federal stimulus funds – will concentrate on a 600-foot breakwater segment that’s the next farthest from shore. Along this stretch, the corps ultimately plans to demolish the existing structure to a point about three feet below the water level. Stone will be used to shore up the structure along its sides in this area, and a full walkway, similar to the one farther out, will be built on top.

While some of the stone will be set in place this fall to help bolster the breakwater during the coming winter, O’Brien said a portion of the stone work will remain to be finished in 2010 along with the demolition and walkway construction.

As with the earlier phase, Escanaba-based IMS will serve as general contractor for the soon-to-start phase of breakwater work. But rather than Roen Salvage of Wisconsin, a key subcontractor involved in the initial updates, IMS is expected to rely on Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan to help with the next stage.

Stone for the upcoming phase of breakwater work will be sourced from Cedarville, with concrete to be furnished by a Northern Michigan vendor.

Noting the use of Michigan contractors and suppliers and the corps’ opportunity to fund the project with stimulus dollars, O’Brien said, “those are all just nice things.”

The 300-foot portion of the breakwater closest to land isn’t slated for updates. Noting that its understructure is more protected from the elements by sand, O’Brien has said this segment is more structurally sound than portions farther out.

 

Breakwater progress

Petoskey News

August 20, 2009


We’re pleased by the progress made this summer in rehabilitating Petoskey’s breakwater.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and its contractors recently finished the first phase of work on the 1,250-foot barrier that shields the city marina. The need to update the aging structure became clear after a 50-foot section of the concrete cap was swept away during a 2006 windstorm.

Work on the outermost 300 feet of the breakwater was completed about three weeks ahead of schedule. With the breakwater being a popular destination for fishing or a walk, the Corps kept the inner reaches of the breakwater accessible as work progressed farther out.

And the updates created a structure that’s more friendly to pedestrians. The rehabilitated section, now sided with metal sheeting, boasts a concrete walkway that’s flat for its entire width.

We would like to echo a caution recently shared by a Corps of Engineers staff member. Diving from the outer reaches of the breakwater has long been a popular summer pastime for youth. But with additional large stones having been piled below the water surface in that area to help shore up the breakwater, we’d encourage people to remember the underwater hazards before taking a plunge; best not to do it than risk injury or worse.

Work should start within the next couple of months on the second phase of breakwater updates. This will take place along a 600-foot section immediately inward from the one that was just finished.

Plans call for the breakwater to be partially demolished in that area. Large stones will be piled on both sides to shield the structure, with a new concrete walkway to be installed on the top.

This fall’s work – expected to begin in early October – will involve placement of stones on the west side of the breakwater. The remaining work will occur in 2010.

While much of the breakwater will need to be shut down at some point during the upcoming phase of work, the corps – aware of the breakwater’s popularity as a fishing spot in fall – will provide access as long as possible.

The same general contractor that handled the first construction phase, Escanaba-based IMS, has been picked for the second. But after relying on Roen Salvage of Wisconsin as the key subcontractor for the first installment, IMS has enlisted Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan to handle the subcontracting role for the upcoming work. Durocher will use stone sourced from Cedarville in the project.

We’re happy to see that a contractor and vendor from nearby will be able to participate in the upcoming phase of work. Expected to cost slightly less than $3.5 million, this will be paid for using federal stimulus funds.

The breakwater has served Petoskey well for the better part of a century. If the appearance of the newly rehabilitated section is an indication, the updated structure should continue to fill its purpose for many more decades.

 

 

Breakwater project ahead of schedule

Petoskey News

July 29, 2009

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff expect refurbishing work on the outermost part of Petoskey’s breakwater should be wrapped up by mid-August.

“We (have) probably about two weeks until we are done with phase one,” said Tom O’Brien, area engineer at the corps’ Grand Haven office. “We’re ahead of schedule.”

The first stage of work on the breakwater is focused on the 300-foot section farthest from shore. The $2.6 million effort, begun in May, involves installation of steel sheeting to form new sidewalls and filling of the structure with stone and additional concrete capping.

With the sheeting in place and pouring of concrete now in progress, O’Brien figures that the last major step in this phase – reinstallation of the light tower at the breakwater’s tip following some freshening by the U.S. Coast Guard – might happen late next week.

Once the outermost stretch reopens to the public, corps construction representative Michael Klomp said visitors may want to avoid diving near the tip of the breakwater. He noted that stones recently placed in that area to shore up the structure could pose an underwater hazard.

“I really don’t want to see kids jump in that area like they used to and get hurt,” he said.

Meanwhile, the corps has reached agreement with a contractor on a price – about $3.8 million – for the second phase of breakwater work, which will cover a stretch slightly closer to shore.

Corps staff are awaiting the release of federal stimulus funds from their headquarters so the deal can be formalized.

The corps is on track to enlist the same general contractor used in the first phase, Escanaba-based IMS, for the second, O’Brien said.

But rather than Roen Salvage of Wisconsin, a key subcontractor involved in the initial updates, IMS is expected to rely on Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan in the next stage.

“They probably won’t be on site until late September or early October,” O’Brien said.

If the contract for the second phase is finalized in a timely way, corps staff expect at least part of the work to happen this fall and the rest to be finished in 2010.

The 600-foot section targeted for the next phase of repairs will be demolished to a point about three feet below the water level. Stone will be used to shore up the structure in this area, and a full walkway similar to the one farther out will be built on top.

To protect the breakwater from storm damage during winter, O’Brien expects at least part of the stone work will happen before this construction season is over.

The upcoming phase will require crews to close much of the breakwater to the public at some point. But with the structure popular as a fishing spot during fall, O’Brien said the corps will try to allow as much access as possible.

The 300-foot portion of the breakwater closest to land isn’t slated for updates. Noting that its understructure is more protected from the elements by sand, O’Brien said this segment is more sound than portions farther out.

 

 

Breakwater fix approaches

Petoskey News

April 08, 2009

 

Three years after a chunk of Petoskey’s breakwater was knocked away in a windstorm, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is expecting long-term rehabilitation of the structure to start in the next few weeks.

The first phase of the fix will involve the outermost 300 feet of the breakwater. Plans call for the lower portion of the breakwater in that area to be encased in steel, with a new concrete cap to be installed on top.

“We’re excited to finally see it come to fruition here,” said Wayne Schloop, chief of operations for the corps’ Detroit district. “We know it’s been a challenge for local residents to get this completed.”

Last fall, the corps reported that it had entered a $2.4 million contract with Industrial Maintenance Services of Escanaba for the upcoming work. Roen Salvage of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., will be a key subcontractor.

Schloop said Roen currently is working on a project in Menominee, and will head for Petoskey when that work is done. He expects the local breakwater repairs to start by late April or early May.

If weather cooperates, Schloop said repairs to the outermost breakwater section should be finished by August or September. For safety reasons, public access to the entire breakwater – a popular destination for strolling, fishing and sunset-watching – will be prohibited during the project. The turnaround area at the end of Wachtel Avenue – which likely will be used for construction staging – will be closed as well.

A 50-foot section of the breakwater’s concrete cap was swept away during a March 2006 windstorm, with large stones piled in and around the gap later that year to shore up the structure.

The stone-filled section won’t be part of the initial repairs, but staff have said the corps likely will take a similar approach there when funds become available.

Closer to shore, the corps intends to shore up the breakwater by piling additional stones along the structure, and replacing the concrete cap there as well.

To fund this work, Schloop said, “We’re exploring all sorts of opportunities.”

Aides to U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Menominee, noted that those legislators both have sought to include $4 million for additional breakwater repairs in Petoskey in an energy and water appropriations bill for the 2010 fiscal year.

Tara Andringa, press secretary for Levin, said the current year’s appropriations bill provided $5 million for Michigan harbor dredging and listed the Petoskey project as one that could be considered for these funds. But since dredging is not a part of the breakwater work, it remains unclear whether funding will be allocated.

 

 

Breakwater repairs expected to begin in the spring

Petoskey News

November 10, 2008

 

The first phase of a long-term fix for Petoskey’s breakwater is now expected to start in the spring, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff member said Thursday.

Tom O’Bryan, a Grand Haven-based civil engineer with the corps, said his organization entered a $2.4 million contract with Industrial Maintenance Services of Escanaba for the work earlier this fall. Roen Salvage of Sturgeon Bay, Wis., will be a key subcontractor for the project.

A pre-construction meeting concerning the breakwater work is set for Thursday, Nov. 13, in Petoskey, but “they’re not going to be starting any onsite work until next spring,” O’Bryan said. “It’s just too late in the season for them.”

The engineer expects that the repairs will begin as early as possible in the spring, with paperwork and materials ordering to take place in the meantime.

As part of the project, contractors will repair the outermost 295 feet of the breakwater. This extends roughly from the area where stones were piled to temporarily shore up 2006 storm damage to the tip.

The breakwater will be rehabilitated by encasing the lower portion in metal, with a new concrete cap to be installed on top.

The 50-foot, stone-filled section itself won’t be part of the initial repairs, but O’Bryan said the corps likely will take a similar approach there when funds become available.

Closer to shore, the corps intends to shore up the breakwater by piling additional stones along the structure, and replacing the concrete cap there as well.

“We will eventually continue with these stages of repair as funding becomes available,” O’Bryan said.

With the corps’ 2009 budget yet to be finalized, the engineer said it isn’t yet clear whether additional dollars will be made available next year for the breakwater work.

O’Bryan said some member’s of Michigan’s congressional delegation have been helpful in lining up the funds allotted so far for repairs.

Staff members for Michigan’s U.S. senators, Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, have said both legislators will help pursue funding for the Petoskey work as Congress decides on project appropriations.