Center Lake pier removal could cost close to $500,000

Cement laong the top edge of the pier is missing, creating a trip hazard. The city has closed the pier and intendes to remove the structure. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.
By Dan Spalding
News Now Warsaw

WARSAW — The old cement pier at Center Lake in Warsaw will likely cost upward of half a million dollars to remove.

Removal of the pier – and construction of two new piers – is part of the overall Center Lake Recreational Trail project.

But the cost of pier removal — and the complexities that it might bring — have led city officials to separate it out from the bigger plan.

The city is now looking into possible grants from the Kosciusko County Community Foundation, the K21 Health Foundation, and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, according to City Planner Justin Taylor.

“It became very complicated when they went through the bidding process on how exactly they would remove that pier,” said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer during a meeting with the board of works on Friday.

Structural damage is now visible from the side of the pier, said Parks Superintendent Larry Plummer.

“There was talk that they’d have to be on the lake on a barge and come back in because of the instability of the pier,” Thallemer said.

The uncertainty created a “premium” on the cost of the work, he said.

The city decided a few years ago to remove the pier because its base causes stagnating water, which can bring health concerns.

The pier also has numerous hazards involving the edging of the pier, which is wrapped in steel. In some of the areas, the cement is crumbling.

“We’ve patched some areas but as fast as we patch them, they fall through,” Plummer said.

One of two signs used to keep swimmers off the pier at Center Lake in Warsaw. The other sign is in Spanish. News Now Warsaw photo by Dan Spalding.