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Muskegon County

Heritage Landing Boat Dock

Project Description

Heritage Landing is a county park on Muskegon Lake’s shore that has a large man-made peninsula to allow large boat docking for tall ships and small cruise ships. The tip of the peninsula was protected by a timber wall which due to high lake levels was submerged.  Waves were eroding the shoreline and were threatening to erode park infrastructure. This project involved construction of a new higher wall and a new dock to accommodate larger Great Lakes cruise ships for Heritage Landing.

The Wall

Prein&Newhof completed a preliminary engineering study to check the structural integrity of the low timber wall and to provide recommendations for protecting the peninsula. Finding the existing timber wall was structurally unsound, Prein&Newhof recommended a new higher steel sheet pile wall, and proceeded to design it. The wall design required permits from both the United States Army Corp of Engineers (USACE) and EGLE. Prein&Newhof got the permits, and developed bid documents, and provided construction phase services including staking, administration, and construction observation.

The Dock

During construction of the new wall, a great lakes cruising company expressed interest in including Muskegon in its itinerary. Their 325-ft-long ships were too long to dock at Heritage Landing—they board their passengers from the middle of the ship, which did not line up with any of the existing docks. To accommodate the cruise ship, Muskegon decided to build a new dock. In order to obtain a permit, the dock was designed to sit on piles driven into the subsurface rather than sitting on fill, which the State discourages since filling “bottomland” takes water from the public trust.

P&N designed the cruise ship dock while the contractor built the sheet pile wall, starting design in late March 2016, getting a permit, and meeting the deadline for the first cruise ship’s arrival on June 9. Prein&Newhof got the permits quickly by designing the cruise ship dock to minimize environmental disruption. The design kept everything simple and constructible, and the project was complete six days early.


Matt Hulst, PE
Project Manager