NTH was then hired to review the plan and were able to re-engineer the project to eliminate divers and extensive underwater construction efforts, thus developing a design that was easier to build and able meet schedule restrictions. Overall, construction costs were reduced by $1,000,000 (22%) without compromising the original design intent.
Last year, NTH won an ACEC Merit award for their re-engineering of the project. The project’s success was largely contributed to the innovative design of the boardwalk piers and the breakwater, and the cooperation of the many stakeholders, including the owner, the designer, the contractor and all of the agencies involved in the project. The Refuge Gateway and the DRIWR are located in the metro Detroit and Windsor region and by virtue of its location provides opportunities to millions of residents in close proximity. The DRIWR is the only international wildlife refuge in the country and one of the few located near dense urban areas.
Recently, the final touches were put on the dock and pier bringing the project to fruition to provide a resource for the public to gain valuable access to the Detroit River and add to the overall benefit of the DRIWR. This project fulfills the last major component of the Refuge Gateway master plan and is a critical asset in the USFWS’s mission to inspire and develop the next generation of conservationists.