Greenville shop constructing Grand Haven catwalk

GREENVILLE, Mich. (via WOOD TV) — Rebuilding the iconic catwalk that for decades framed the Grand Haven South Pier is no easy task.

At The Blacksmith Shop in Greenville, it's the biggest project they've ever tackled. Fifty-three of the catwalk's 59 bents, the metal skeleton that runs along the pier, had to be recreated.

"Thousands of hours of engineering work. And man hours to weld, we are at at least 100 hours per bent," Roy Ferguson, CEO The Blacksmith Shop, said.

The puzzle of metal pieces has been painstakingly assembled, requiring hundreds of welds for each piece. It's as much an artistic as an engineering feat.

"We revised the plan at least a dozen times," Ferguson said.

When the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided to rebuild the pier, the catwalk wasn't part of the project. But it's a symbol of the Grand Haven. There was talk of repairing the old catwalk, but the years and elements had taken a toll. It needed to be replaced. So the community pulled together, raising over a million dollars to recreate the catwalk. About $500,000 will be spent on fabricating the new bents.

Installation of the catwalk started earlier this month.

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