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Great Lakes Article:

State Dock to get facelift
By Mike Fornes
Cheboygan Daily Tribune
Published July 3, 2006

CHEBOYGAN - A dock that once served as the main terminal for transportation across the Straits of Mackinac is getting a re-fit that will benefit recreational boaters and eventually cruise ships.

Construction has started on the second phase of a $9.5 million new state harbor in Mackinaw City, Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials have announced.

Ryba Marine of Cheboygan was awarded a $1,599,527 contract to construct a new three-lane boat-launching facility, harbor basin dredging and various shoreline, utility and drainage improvements. Future phases of the project will develop harbor buildings and floating piers.

Phase II of the construction of the new harbor facility at Mackinaw City includes dredging the basin area for the new harbor and boat launch, installing the boat launch and riprap along both the north and south sides of the dock to break the waves and disperse the energy, said Mary Dettloff, DNR public information officer.

The new Mackinaw State Harbor will add up to 125 transient slips and creatively redevelop the state's former car ferry dock within the city. DNR Parks and Recreation Division staff and the State Waterways Commission have reviewed surrounding existing harbors to create a slip configuration that will accommodate boaters' greatest needs.

We will also be cleaning up the walls of the old car ferry slip and the ‘triangle' at the end of the dock where there is sheet piling, Dettloff added. We will be doing a dive and assessment of the east end of the dock and slips for stabilization at the end of the dock. This will determine what additional work may be needed to assure the long term viability of the State Dock. There are no plans to demolish the buildings, the long term plans are to be developed for the function of the ‘triangle,' however cruise ships will be the primary focus for this area.

The construction is expected to be completed by December. The finished boating access site will provide an excellent location for boaters to access the waters of the Straits of Mackinac, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan.

We're very excited to begin the second phase of this project, said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

The project is funded by the State Waterways Fund. The fund is derived from boaters' registration fees and marine fuel sales tax.


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