Work underway for SS Badger’s dock

December 11, 2018 GMT

The improvement project for the Lake Michigan Carferry dock facility in Ludington is now underway, according to officials at Foth, the company that is overseeing the work.

The dock facilities serve as the mooring system for the SS Badger carferry between Ludington and Manitowoc, Wis. The carferry runs between mid-May and mid-October. Demolition of the old dock began late last week after the project received final authorization from Gov. Rick Snyder’s office. Material and equipment for the project has been staging at the site for a few weeks prior to the start of construction. The contractor for the project is Great Lakes Dock & Materials, LLC from Muskegon and is being managed by Foth Infrastructure & Environment, LLC from De Pere, Wis., who also provided the design and regulatory permitting services for the project.

Construction is expected to run through the winter, except for some periods of weather-caused shutdowns, and will be substantially completed in time for the SS Badger to commence with the 2019 ferry services mid-May of next year. Final project completion will be mid-June of next year. The project consists of removing the aged starboard-side fender wall and mooring facilities and replacing them with a new fender wall and moorings. The new fender wall has been designed to be aesthetically consistent with the original fender wall so that the historic appearance of the SS Badger and her support facilities are respectful of the National Landmark status of the site.

The Ludington improvements are being conducted simultaneously with similar improvements in Manitowoc, Wis., so that both ends of the ferry service will have new docking facilities starting in 2019. The improvements for both docking facilities are being funding through a combination of stakeholders that include the Lake Michigan Carferry, the State of Wisconsin, The City of Manitowoc and the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration. The City of Ludington and the State of Michigan are not providing any funding. The cost of construction for the Ludington improvements is $3 million.

The work, once completed, will help ensure continued operations of the SS Badger that remain a connection across Lake Michigan as part of U.S. 10 between Ludington and Manitowoc.