Traverse City Record-Eagle

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June 18, 2014

Pier group reviews design teams

TRAVERSE CITY — Seven teams of well-known engineering and marine consultants cast proposals to design and engineer a public fishing pier in Traverse City.

Most of the firms have done work in the region, including two that worked on the city's bayfront plan and one, SmithGroupJJR, that designed the city's marina. Two of the firms also worked on what some might consider Lake Michigan's most famous pier, Navy Pier in Chicago.

"The quality of the candidates is very good. I'm familiar with all of them and they are all top-ranking organizations," said Ryan Matuzak, a member of the city's pier study committee that will rank the proposals. "We have some great people that are interested in being part of the project."

Committee members received the proposals on June 13 and will individually rank them before meeting to compare notes and select firms to interview on June 24 at 1 p.m. in the Governmental Center. The committee will make a final recommendation to the city commission.

"They look like seven great proposals, so the problem is going to be figuring out who is the best fit for our community," said Missy Luick, city staff's project liaison. "Hopefully, it will be really obvious once everybody has looked at them."

The project teams include:

— Fleis & Vandenbrink, of Grand Rapids and Traverse City, along with W. F. Baird Associated Ltd., a Wisconsin-based marine engineering firm.

— Beckett & Raeder, of Ann Arbor and Traverse City, which also will partner with W.F. Baird Associated Ltd.

— SmithGroupJJR and Gourdie Fraser Associates of Traverse City, plus Interpretive Signage/Interpretive Ideas to create educational and interpretive signage on the pier.

— PORT Architecture and Urbanism, LLC, of Chicago, and Traverse City-based marine and engineering firms The Schiffer Group Inc. and Soils & Structures.

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