Construction on the two-lane vehicular bridge began this past winter. The new bridge, made of cement, was constructed to replace the former timber bridge.

Construction on the two-lane vehicular bridge began this past winter. The new bridge, made of cement, was constructed to replace the former timber bridge.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


New vehicle bridge, kayak launch open at Lake Front Park

By: Maria Allard | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 20, 2021

 Grosse Pointe Woods Recreation Commission member Gib Heim demonstrates the new kayak launch April 17.

Grosse Pointe Woods Recreation Commission member Gib Heim demonstrates the new kayak launch April 17.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

GROSSE POINTE WOODS/ST. CLAIR SHORES — Two new amenities at Lake Front Park opened to the public last weekend.

On the morning of April 17, Grosse Pointe Woods City Council members and administrators gathered at the park for two ribbon-cuttings: one to unveil the new vehicular bridge and a second to open the new kayak launch area.

Also present were members of the city’s engineering firm, Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc., in Shelby Township, and the contractor, E.C. Korneffel Co., of Trenton.

“As Bob would say, ‘This gives us a sense of community,’” Mayor Arthur Bryant said when cutting the ribbon, referring to the late Mayor Robert Novitke.

Lake Front Park is located on Jefferson Avenue in St. Clair Shores, and Grosse Pointe Woods owns the park.

Construction on the two-lane vehicular bridge began this past winter. The new bridge, made of cement, was constructed to replace the former bridge, which was made of timber. The bridge crosses over the marina and also has a pedestrian walkway.

About 20 heavy trucks per year cross the vehicular bridge along with plenty of SUVs and cars belonging to residents who use the park. The heavy trucks that use the bridge often come to Lake Front Park to drop off materials, including dirt and wood chips. After years of wear and tear and with the timber bridge having one year of life left, it was decided a new bridge was necessary.

Lake Front Park has a pool, a playscape, a walking path, Activities Building, tennis courts, a nine-hole miniature golf course, an outdoor basketball court and more. Bryant said there are plans to work with AEW to install a plaque to commemorate the construction of the new bridge.

After unveiling the new bridge, the group walked over to check out the new kayak launch, located next to the marina boat launch.

Grosse Pointe Woods Recreation Commission member Gib Heim said many residents had suggested a kayak ramp separate from the boat launch.

“We didn’t have an official launch,” Grosse Pointe Woods Director of Public Services Frank Schulte said. “There was a lot of congestion with people trying to pull their boats in.”

It also was slippery for the kayaks. To make room for the kayak ramp, the floating dock was extended and one boatwell was removed with the boat owner moving to a different spot.

During the unveiling, Heim demonstrated how to use the kayak launch, which complies with the American with Disabilities Act.

“This is an easier way to get on to your kayak,” Heim said as he made it into the water.

“I think it’s going to be great,” said Grosse Pointe Woods resident Brenda Bove, who was at the marina Saturday and viewed the new kayak ramp. “This is more than I would have asked for. Everyone is going to be so happy with this. It’s perfect.