Harrisville Harbor docks closed to public until spring

HARRISVILLE — Access to most of the areas of the Harrisville Harbor will be closed to the public until spring as construction progresses, according to Harbor Master Jim Ferguson.

He said construction crews are busy refurbishing the harbor’s dock system, testing electrical systems and working to install a brand new floating dock system on the southern end of the harbor.

Most of the area is blocked off with fencing. There is limited access to some areas of the harbor, however.

“If they come down the staircase, the beach side that is still open and available, but most everything has been fenced down and shut off because of safety reasons,” Ferguson said “Until they get the top surface put back on probably until spring until we open again.”

Ferguson said one of the main projects is resurfacing the fixed harbor dock known as the “T” dock because of its shape. He said that dock has been in place since the 1960s and was in need of repair.

“They have taken the two layers of the old decking on all of the fixed dock exposing all of the plumbing,” he said. “There is nowhere to walk and it’s extremely dangerous at this point.”

Ferguson said the contract is going to come in and check plumbing in the area, as well as electrical lines to make sure it’s up to code and then bring it up to the current code.

“They’re going to check all the water and sewer lines and any deficiencies are going to be fixed,” he said.

Ferguson said this fall the floating portion of the south dock will be removed. He said contractor FDS will manufacture a new floating dock that will be installed along with the new decking for the fixed “T” dock.

“As we progress through the funding and the phases, the north dock and the fuel dock will ultimately be brand new,” Ferguson said.

The harbor fixes come as part of a five-phase project funded through grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and will cost several million dollars. Ferguson said the first two phases of the grant project have been awarded and a third phase is close to being awarded.

He said people should avoid the docks and stay behind the fenced areas.

“It’s for their own safety as it’s real easy to slip and fall in the water,” he said. “The public needs to stay off the docks this winter.”

He said the public is welcome to come and take pictures and look at the project in the accessible areas. The nearby DNR boat launch will remain open although Ferguson said he was informed the boat launch docks will be removed later this month.

Ferguson said he should be selling non-ethnol gasoline throughout the winter as the harbor’s pumps is one of the only sources in the nearby area. He said many people use it for chain saws and snowmobiles.

“They are supposed to build me a walkway out to the pumps so I can still access it,” he said.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.