MENOMINEE — The Public Safety/Public Works Committee recommended Tuesday that the Menominee City Council approve paying half of the cost for a study of the structural integrity of the fishing platform attached to the Hattie Street Bridge.

In a Sept. 3 meeting, the Marinette City Council approved contracting the study with Ayres Associates out of De Pere, Wis. In a special meeting of the Board of Public Works just before that meeting, Marinette’s Director of Public Works Brian Miller said he had talked with City Manager Tony Graff, who agreed to pay for half of the cost of the study pending approval from the Menominee City Council.

“It became obvious after they did the second inspection that there was going to be some scouring happening from the amount of salt that leaks through over many years, and it could now be causing an integrity issue with the platform,” Graff said.

“First they’ve got to do a study, and that’s going to be $10,500, so we’ll need to split that,” said Mayor Jean Stegeman.

Graff said to reduce some of the costs for the study, he contacted the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), which allowed the city to use one of its machines designed for this sort of task. Graff said the machine is able to curl underneath the bridge to inspect the areas of issue for the study, rather than having people rappel down the bridge.

The alternative, he said, is that the platform may have to be closed if the bridge doesn’t pass the inspection from the study. “It’s very popular, but if it’s hazardous we’ve got to close it,” Graff said.

“On another subject when it comes to that bridge, I think we should look at sealing those bridges now, and now’s the time to start looking at doing that,” said Councilmember Dennis Klitzke, “What they did in Milwaukee is they used an epoxy sealer (on one of their bridges), which protects it so when it cracks, it seals it so your salt and moisture doesn’t get into the rebar. I suspect there’s some value in doing that.”

Klitzke said a lot of the salt used in the winter gets thrown off of the bridge with the snow when the bridge is plowed, and a lot of that salt gets onto the platform, which can cause a lot of structural damage.

Stegeman made a motion to recommend that the council approve a payment of $5,250 to the City of Marinette, covering half of the cost of the study as the two cities are co-owners of the bridge. The motion passed unanimously.