Houghton Business Association updates on downtown parking deck removal and Jibba Jabba snowboarding event

This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 8:11 PM EST
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Gathering this morning for its first meeting of the new year, the Houghton Business Association sat down to discuss upcoming plans and projects for the near future.

Among the topics discussed, City Manager Eric Waara provided an outlook on the upcoming parking deck removal located downtown above East Lakeshore Dr.

“Shooting for late March, early April, somewhere in there, so hopefully the major demolition work will be finished by Memorial Day by the time summer comes around,” said Waara. “And then we can start doing the surface work after that.”

According to Waara, it will take six to eight weeks for demolition crews to remove the deck. They will start on the east section running alongside the Portage Lake District Library.

“After that, “continued Waara, “they’ll start working on the surface improvements, installing the sidewalks, and the green areas, with a little bit of utility work to do but not like a classic utility project.”

The remaining space will include additional parking and pedestrian spaces such as lawn areas and gardens.

Another topic brought up during the meeting was the return of the Jibba Jabba snowboarding event after over a ten-year hiatus.

Being put on in part by Rhythm Bike and Board Co., the event converts the lower half of Huron St. into a snowboard terrain course.

15 to 20 Midwest talent snowboarders will then perform before spectators and aim for a $1,000 cash prize for both men’s and women’s divisions.

“Part of Shelden Ave. here will be closed off from traffic for safety,” said Rhythm Bike and Board Co. Operations Manager Jenn Reed. “And we hope that the course will likely go all the way down to our pier. It is invite-only, so they’re the only ones that will have access to it that night.”

However, some may still get a chance to use it.

“We’re really pushing for the community to be able to ride it the following day,” continued Reed. “You’ll have to sign a waiver, but we’ll have it open for a specific time period that we’ll let you know as we get closer to the event.”

Jibba Jabba is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 18 starting at 6 p.m.