City to study ore dock’s future

MARQUETTE – The Marquette City Commission took the next step in possibly determining the future of the dormant ore dock in Marquette’s Lower Harbor.

On Monday, the commission approved GEI Consultants of Marquette to provide professional services for a structural and condition analysis of the Lower Harbor ore dock.

The proposed cost from GEI is $78,000, which was targeted for this project in the FY 2013-14 budget, according to City Clerk Dave Bleau. The analysis is expected to take a year to complete.

The commission held a work session on Jan. 8 to discuss the possibility of repurposing the ore dock to allow public use. However, help is needed to determine the type of repairs and amount of funding required to make the structure safe for reuse. Subsequent annual maintenance costs also need to be determined.

The project had been talked about for a couple of years, Commissioner Don Ryan said.

“It obviously will not be inexpensive,” Ryan said.

However, he said having a professional analysis completed on the project is important to determine a future use.

“The first step is, can it really be used?” Ryan said.

One possible use that’s been discussed by area residents is turning the ore dock into a botanical and ecological center called the Ore Dock BotEco Center. The center would include year-round indoor gardens, public entertainment and education venues and historical preservation of and education about the ore dock.

The Lower Harbor ore dock was built between 1931-32 and was decommissioned in 1971.

Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net.


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