$5.1 million grant for SPS
The Board of Directors of the Friends of PBLH is thrilled and honored to announce that in the most recent State of Michigan budget, a grant of $5.1million has been awarded to Point Betsie Lighthouse, intended for repairs to the crumbling Shoreline Protection System. Senator Curt VanderWall was instrumental in helping our cause, and we extend to him our most sincere thanks.
Prior to the actual construction beginning, another phase of research is required to study the hydrological details of the area. That contract has recently been awarded, and the study will commence in the spring. Not until that research is complete will the total cost of the project be known, but it is expected to exceed funds raised to-date. Please continue to give generously to help us complete these urgently needed repairs.
The ongoing wear from years of storms, waves, and high water level have made repairs to the Shoreline Protection System (SPS) increasingly urgent. The last major work was done in 1944, so improvements are substantially overdue. The Board of Directors of the Friends of PBLH in 2019 initiated a preliminary evaluation of the condition of the SPS, which resulted in a rough estimate of the cost of repairs in the $950,000 – $1 million range. A subsequent Capital Campaign raised about $1.3 million. The next step was to hire a marine engineering firm to amend the existing Historic Structures Report. Baird Engineering was chosen, and their report has been shared with relevant regulators – The State Historic Preservation Office, and the Army Corps of Engineers – in order to bring them into the process early, and to try to avoid wasting planning time and effort on a project that would not win approval.
The chosen option was put out in a Request For Proposal from potentially interested marine contracting firms, and Barr Engineering was selected in fall of 2021. Geologic and hydrologic studies are necessary to ensure that there will be sufficient support for the proposed new seawall, apron, and offshore rock revetment, and studies of the existing seawall and apron structure will inform the approach to repairs. Fortuitous early November weather enabled Barr to initiate some work, but most of it will need to wait for spring of 2022. (Updated 12/20/2021)
When spring weather allows, and well into summertime, the engineering work will resume. Along with input from various regulatory agencies, Barr’s eventual engineering report will provide the basis for another Request For Proposal from interested marine contractors for the actual construction work. This is anticipated to happen in late summer. Only after those bids are received, and a winner chosen, will the final cost of the project be known, presumably late in 2022. If further fundraising will be required, as expected, it can begin in late 2022 and perhaps into 2023. If all of these complexities line up, actual construction may commence in the spring/summer of 2023. Please continue to check our website often for future updates. (Updated 12/20/2021)
Questions can be directed to PBLH Friends Board Pres Richard Taylor @ firstname.lastname@example.org.