TRAVERSE CITY— Power Island's dock remains in tatters after ice damaged it over the winter, but Grand Traverse County officials said the structure will be ready for public use by July 4.
County staffers did not remove the dock last fall because water levels on the island were low at the end of fall, officials said. But ice floes and high winds later pulled six pilings out of the bay floor and pushed a stationary section of the dock out of place.
"Lesson learned," county Administrator Dave Benda said. "Watch the water levels."
Normally boaters can pull along either side the dock to unload passengers and supplies at the county-owned island park. Boaters cannot tie their vessels onto the dock, but instead must drop anchor in nearby shallow waters and walk or swim to the island.
Fred Tank, Power Island's park ranger, said the damaged dock will not effect public access to the park as the busy July 4 weekend and National Cherry Festival approach.
"It’s generally used for kids to jump off of, that’s the big entertainment, and that’s the only thing that’s been disturbed," Tank said of the dock.
A second, smaller dock remains in place for unloading passengers and cargo, but still county facilities crews plan to start repairing the large dock June 30. The dock should be fixed by July 4.
Brown said the work will be inexpensive, with most costs stemming from labor time, as crews will reuse existing parts of the dock for repairs.
Part of the damaged dock was installed about 15 years ago, the last time a formidable northern Michigan winter damaged a dock on Power Island, Tank said.