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In our 110th year ~ Vol. 110 No. 21
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Arch getting closer
Four bids were opened yesterday (November 24) for the proposed Palmer Gateway Arch on the south end of the city.
The largely steel arch would be located across M-83 (Gera Road) between Cross Park and Grandpa Tiny’s Farm, south of Weiss Street.
Several items still need to be tied up, including approval from the Frankenmuth City Council at its Tuesday, December 1 regular meeting, approval of a permit from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) and a few details to clean up with the Frankenmuth Township Board of Trustees.
Once those requirements are met, steel would be ordered by the end of the year, with construction to begin in March or April and the project completed by the end of May, 2016. The city also secured a construction and maintenance easement from the farm.
The project has been in the works for the past 2-3 years and was a dream of the late Walter and Maria Palmer and the Palmer Foundation Fund.
The budgeted cost was $750,000-$800,000, with a total of $250,000 to be allocated for maintaining the arch in future years. That $250,000 is coming from the Palmer Foundation Fund.
Through the Frankenmuth Community Foundation, a total of $750,000 has been set aside to build the arch.
The city entered into an agreement with Kibbe Associates for the engineering design of the arch. The most recent and current design is shown with this article.
The community was invited to an open house in September 2014 to view the drawings. From their input, the drawings were changed to more flair, panache and graciousness, with a more wrought iron look,” Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority Director Sheila Stamiris said.
The arch will include decorative fencing with the Willkommen sign in the middle and the word Frankenmuth below it. A pair of illuminated Bavarian towers, featuring the city’s shield, will bookend the two signs.
The arch would be mostly built on site, in Cross Park, in three-piece construction. Intermittent road closures would take place during times of less traffic to affix the arch to each side of M-83
The Palmer Fund is working through the DDA, who has supplied staff and guidance to the project.
The Palmer Fund, now part of the Frankenmuth Community Foundation, has funded a variety of community projects, including the Palmer Schau Platz, the Christmas over-the-street star streamers, the Frankenmuth School District music and band programs and more. The fund also is helping improve the sound system at the Bronner Performing Arts Center.
Palmer Fund trustees, with the approval from the Community Foundation, seek to gift this arch to the Frankenmuth community, paying all the construction and long-term maintenance costs – just as it has done for more than 20 years with the star streamer program.
“This was a dream of Walter and Maria, who were very much forward thinkers, to welcome people home and guests to Frankenmuth. It will be a new iconic symbol in Frankenmuth, which will be built for today and tomorrow,” Stamiris said.
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