Ashland set to begin ore dock project - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Ashland set to begin ore dock project

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ASHLAND, WI -

The home of the "oredockers" is hoping to live up to its name.

The city of Ashland took over its ore dock in 2015, decades after the former CN dock sent off its last shipment of iron ore.

According to Sara Hudson, parks and recreation director for the city of Ashland, the dock is a part of the city's identity.

"Everyone who has ever lived here has a story about the ore dock," she said.

The ore dock has been a feature of of Ashland's shoreline for more than 100 years even sporting a red stain from the iron ore that shipped out of there for decades.

Now, project leader say making sure the dock is there for the next generation to enjoy will take a multi-phase project, one they're hoping to start this summer.

"It was gonna be a little bit bigger of a project than we anticipated so we broke it down into phase one part one," Hudson said.

According to Hudson, this first phase is about expanding access to the dock's unique features.

"Probably about 10 feet back here, we'll start this ramp that goes up and there will be a bridge that hangs out and kind of cantor levers these first couple ore docks," she said.

The overlook will get people out to see what she calls, the diamonds or geometric figures that served as early 20th century protection from Superior's waves.

"If they wouldn't have been here the dock probably would have been washed away," she said.

But building that access comes with a $2 million bill. Hudson says they have a head start with a $1 million dollar trust they're working to match.

"We are about $500,000 there so we have about $500,000 more to go," she said.

The funding has come through donations and a coastal management grant and a $300,000 grant from the DNR stewardship fund.

They're hoping to raise more funds this summer through a 4th of July event on the dock.

She said that will secure funding for phase one but the entire project will take $8 million. Still Hudson said it's worth the hefty price tag to keep Ashland's history alive.

"It's who we are," she said.

The city of Ashland plans to start phase one of the project in July and finish by the end of 2019.

Phase two will include redeveloping the section of the ore dock that's currently accessible to the public and extending some of the surrounding roads to make the dock easier to reach from Highway 2.

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