As 2020 comes to an end, we’d like to summarize the history of Pier & Waterfront Solutions.
Dave Kalista and Jerry Englebert started in 2015. Like all new business owners, they were willing to put their futures on the line.
The first “office” consisted of a tiny room that was so small you literally had to walk sideways to get past the table. It was more like a closet.
In the first year, installs and removals were done with ATF #1, an All Terrain Forklift, which Dave operated along with Alex, our first employee. Alex is with us today and has his own crew.
The heavy equipment required a truck and a trailer to move it. The first time the trailer was loaded with the ATF and driven just a few miles, one of the tires blew out. Not a good omen.
PWS moved and expanded
Pier & Waterfront Solutions moved out of the “closet” into a one-room office on Hwy 57 (our current location). ATF storage was done in a separate warehouse on the property.
After doing sales and service themselves for a year, Dave and Jerry had a growing list of customers and added a full-time crew.
2016-2020 saw the addition of more ATF’s, crews, and trailers. Five ATF’s to be exact.
The shop has now grown to encompass about 90% of the building. Meanwhile, the one-room office has grown to three offices. We needed more room to accommodate the office staff of 5 needed to run the operation.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
PWS expanded into our shoreline business, which became part of our “waterfront solutions” name.
Track mounted skid steer
The shoreline business currently has three track-mounted skid steers, along with three excavators for installing rip-rap to protect shorelines. Each piece of equipment meant more crews, trucks, and assorted equipment.
THE GROWING BUSINESS HAS MORE FACETS
Barge with excavator
As the rip-rap business grew, we introduced our 24′ x 45′ barge and pusher boat.
Why such a large barge? The barge allows us to transport the excavator, a track-mounted skid steer, and tons of boulders and rip-rap directly to work sites. It’s more economical for the consumer and gives us access to areas that were inaccessible by land.
Watch for more developments with the barge in 2021.
THE NEXT INTRODUCTION
PWS developed our own line of galvanized steel docks because other steel docks were not doing the job.
Steel 3-Season Pier
The 3-Season Pier was introduced as a heavier, stronger steel pier with oversized features from top to bottom. Even the side platforms went from the normal 4′ x 8′ platform (32 sq. ft.) to a 4′ x 10′ area. (40 Sq. ft.). That’s 25% larger than lesser brands – and it’s the standard size.
Due to its quarter-ton+ weight per section, the 3-Season Pier is able to handle the record-setting high water we currently have. But even more importantly, it can withstand the strong storms we now see frequently on the Bay of Green Bay.
More developments are coming in 2021!!
It’s not all good news.
On a sad note, early 2020 saw the tragic loss of John Engelbert, Jerry’s brother. John was our Service Manager and friend. He passed away due to complications from diabetes. Everyone who knew John misses him.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HAVE IN STORE FOR PWS?
PWS is not sitting back on its laurels. Our staff continues to seek even more ways to serve our customer needs.
In the coming months, we will be announcing new areas we will expand to serve customers better.
How will you find out about these changes?
The best way is to come back here each week and follow the posts on our website.
Where is Pier & Waterfront Solutions?
Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, it’s 3 miles south of Sturgeon Bay and 1 mile past the intersection of Cty MM(heading north). Look on the right at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Hwy 57.
The virus continues to spread rapidly. The vaccines are arriving and PWS is conducting as much business as possible by email, text, or phone.
Site visits continue as usual. When in-person contacts are necessary, we follow “social distancing” guidelines as closely as possible.
Our display yard is OPEN 24-7
Our display yard is always open for you to examine at your leisure. All displays available for sale have a numbered, red tag on them. If you want more information or pricing,
please reference that number when you inquire.
We provide estimates and quotes by email to make the process faster, safer, and paperless.
What can YOU do?
Please conduct as much business as possible via emails, messaging, and phone. When you see our staff and crews on-site, please practice “social distancing.”
Call, message, or email us with any questions.
Thank you for allowing us to work with you safely.
Here’s something we can all agree on – the seasons have changed. Typically, at this time of the year, both the Bay of Green Bay & Lake Michigan are a frozen mass of ice. Not this year.
Here’s an example. This year, the Bay has not frozen over completely. In some cases, even the northern lakes are not safe to travel across. Wisconsin has had unseasonably warm weather so far.
ICE FISHING & ICE SHOVES
People who love ice fishing have seen their dreams of fishing upended. Even walking on the ice is not safe. Some fishing tournaments and charity walks had to cancel or establish a new route due to unstable, thin ice.
Ice shoves had occurred on several inland lakes and the Bay in December and January. Ice shoves usually don’t happen until late February or March as the ice begins to break up.
HERE’S THE BRIGHT SIDE
On the other hand, the warm weather allowed our excavators to continue working on rip-rap and seawalls. There have been only a few delays. (See our newly updated January 7th postand also the January 21st postfor more information.)
There have been no real weather-related interruptions even in the typically “coldest” months of the year. Our biggest problem has been a lack of rip-rap. The quarries are having difficulty keeping up with the demand.
PWS is expanding into several areas in response to customer demands. The expansion required large investments in equipment and crews.
Here’s our latest news – Pusher Boat
The new PWS “pusher” or “tug boat” has arrived. We have yet to mount the motors and “knees,” but, it will be ready for the open-water season in plenty of time.
WHAT IS A “PUSHER BOAT”?
According to Wikipedia – “a pusher craft, pusher boat, pusher tug or towboat is a boat designed for pushing barges or car floats… These vessels are characterized by a square bow, a shallow draft, and typically have “knees,” which are large plates mounted to the bow for pushing barges of various heights.”
Have we “wet” your appetite for more information? Follow this link for additional information. The new services keep coming!
The focus of Pier & Waterfront Solutions (PWS) has always been “Waterfront Solutions.” Initially, that meant – Piers and Boat Lifts, – along with a wide variety of services surrounding those two items. As a result, PWS quickly gained a reputation as the Leader on the Door County Peninsula.
As the Leader, PWS gets requests for many unique situations throughout the year in both the residential and commercial areas.
PWS hasn’t been sitting on their proverbial – laurels. PWS has been instrumental in solving problems for many people. We always keep our eyes open for additional ways we can help with issues vital to you.
We looked around until we saw the next problem was actually right in front of us every day – Eroding Shorelines.
Shoreline tree roots exposed
How long will this continue?
The high water you have experienced in recent years will continue into 2020 – and for the foreseeable future. In fact, the 2020 projections are for another 10″ of depth on top of the already high water depths this year. (We’ll keep you updated on the situation as we get closer to Spring).
How has this Affected Door County?
As property owners, most of you have already seen the damage to your shoreline. The entire Door County Penninsula has seen significant damage. Naturally, the losses are extensive along the Lake Michigan side of the peninsula. However, the Green Bay side of the peninsula has not been spared, as shown.
As the demand for help grew, PWS realized we had to step-up to help our customers and fulfill our commitments to them.
Additionally, the shoreline damages and deep water has slowed our operation down. High water exposes our crews to deeper water on a daily basis. In some cases, they can no longer walk to the ends of the dock without having their waders swamped. The wet suits they wear do not adequately protect them from the frigid water temperatures.
Therefore, PWS has made several significant decisions for 2020. We have a series of announcements to make, beginning today.
What has changed?
Through much of 2019, we have been doing shoreline reconstruction and protection work. We expanded our line of excavating equipment, trucks, trailers, and track-mounted skid steers to accomplish this work.
We’ve trained operators, and they are currently completing jobs with the favorable weather we are having. This work will continue until the ground is frozen harder than the excavating equipment can handle. Even then, we will continue to bring in boulders and rip-rap for shorelines where excavating is not required.
The project starts with obtaining the needed state permits. Next, we mark out the sites and deliver the required rock, ranging from rip-rap (around 1 ton) to boulders (from 2 ton and up to 8 1/2 tons).
Heavy excavation equipment is necessary to dig into the ground and/or move these multi-ton boulders.
The boulders & rip-rap form a barrier to the high water and the turbulence from storms. It’s the turbulence that undermines and washes away the shoreline, uprooting trees and destroying buildings, as shown.
As you can see, the scars are significant and can adversely affect your property value.
In the coming months, we will continue to show “before and after” photos of the work we have completed.
Who is your contact for all shoreline work?
Dave Kalista (920) 905-2588 has taken the lead on the shoreline work with our remaining staff as support staff. Contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dave is very knowledgeable and ready to handle your shoreline work from beginning to end.
We will feature more examples in the coming weeks. Follow this link for additional information.
More announcements will follow.
Pier & Waterfront Solutions can help you. Give us a call today!
Pier & Waterfront Solutions (PWS) specializes in ShoreMaster docks, lifts, accessories, and now, shoreline and waterfront work!
Located at 7325 St. Hwy 57, just south of Sturgeon Bay, PWS can be found at the intersection of Idlewild Road and Hwy 57. Our staff looks forward to serving all of your waterfront needs.