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Pier Review

Alumni Park’s lakefront staple undergoes its seasonal change of ap-pier-ance.

Each May, as campus transforms from spring to summer, so does the pier in front of One Alumni Place. The Goodspeed Family Pier opened in 2013 as the first phase of the Alumni Park project. Since then, the pier has remained a staple of campus’ lakefront experience. However, one element is a bit more transient.

A seasonal, floating section of the pier is housed in an offsite storage facility through the winter, and it’s cleaned and inspected before being brought across the lake. Depending on conditions, the journey takes about 20 minutes, and when it arrives, a team of five works to attach the dock to the permanent pier. Attaching and anchoring the structure takes a few hours, but once done, it’s open to the public all summer long!

The fully assembled pier stretches across 330 linear feet of Lake Mendota and offers water-arriving visitors place to dock their vessels of varying sizes, from boats to canoes and kayaks.

Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison.

If you don’t have a boat of your own, come use ours! WAA members can take advantage of free pontoon boats rides on Fridays all summer long during Badger Meet-Ups. Come October, the pier’s temporary section will be towed back across the lake to go into storage until the next year.

Members wave from WAA's pontoon boat. Photo by Andy Manis/UW–Madison.

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