The purchase agreement states the Friends of the Pere Marquette Bridge can buy the bridge equipment for $10,000, with that price falling to $1 if the group matches all obligations in the agreement.
Those obligations include:
*Deposit $10,000 within 60 days of the agreement purchase, with the money being forfeited to the seller as liquidated damages if the group is unable to satisfy any of the conditions. *Provide proof of liability insurance, including pollution coverage, in the amount of $2 million for injury to persons or damage to property related to the removal of the train bridge. *Retain a performance bond to remove the structure within 12 months of the agreement. *Provide the yacht club a detailed plan on means and methods to dismantle and remove the equipment.
The historic train bridge at the edge of the Black River in Port Huron isn't going anywhere soon.
Collette Luff, a regulatory project manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said there's no timeline as to when a final decision will be made on a demolition permit that was filed nearly five years ago.
Officials previously hoped for a decision by the end of 2016.
"I'm finishing up my review of alternatives to avoid, minimize, mitigate the adverse effects of removing the bridge from the historic property," she said.
Once that review is complete, it will be considered internally before being sent to the State Historic Preservation Office, Luff said.
The Pere Marquette bridge's historical nature is what is making it such a complex process, she said.
"Removing the bridge would destroy the physical characteristics that make it eligible for listing," Luff said.
The alternatives to demolition include doing nothing, preserving the site using federal criteria, moving the bridge to another location and recordation — which would entail a historian documenting the site prior to demolition or removal.
Luff said she doesn't have a time line for when her review will be completed.
The Port Huron Yacht Club applied for the permit in March 2012.
The club purchased the 3.3-acre parcel known as Scenic Point and wanted to remove the 86-year-old bridge to make room for an observation deck.
"The yacht club continues to do its due diligence and we continue to patiently wait this process out," said Tyson Connolly, yacht club publicity chairman and past commodore.
Connolly said being patient isn't new for the club.
"The yacht club has a long history of patiently waiting things out and our history shows we do good work once what we request happens," he said.
While the yacht club has asked for the removal, others have said the bridge is iconic to the city and needs to stay.
Marcia Haynes, who started the nonprofit Friends of the Pere Marquette Bridge, said the group submitted plans for restoring the bridge two years ago.
The nonprofit's plans include leaving it where is stands, cleaning it, putting lights on it, and renting it from the yacht club for $1 a year.
"We will have to wait," Haynes said in a message. "We realize this is a little out of the ordinary for the Army Corps of Engineers."
The nonprofit can be found on Facebook at facebook.com/PHBlackRiverBridge.