Background

U.S. Highway 10 used to be broken into two segments by Lake Michigan. In 2015, the Lake Michigan Carferry Service (S.S. Badger) between Ludington, Michigan, and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, was officially designated as part of the highway, thus making the highway contiguous between Fargo, ND, and Bay City, MI. The 410 foot S.S. Badger began carrying passengers and their vehicles between the two communities on “Highway 10” in 1953. The Badger makes nearly 450 crossings each season with approximately 1,500 commercial vehicles and 100,000 passengers, and employs more than 200 people. With decades of use, the S.S. Badger docking facilities in Ludington and Manitowoc have experienced significant deterioration and are becoming unstable. Sustaining this link of U.S. 10 is equally important for travelers and commercial cargo.

Foth was hired to perform a structural inspection of the two cities’ docking facilities in fall 2016. The condition of the structures was found to be in an advanced stage of failure. The estimated cost for repairs, engineering, and construction management exceeded $9M. Foth teamed with the cities of Ludington and Manitowoc and the Lake Michigan Carferry Service to prepare a grant request to the U.S. DOT FASTLANE program and the Wisconsin DOT Harbor Assistance Program (HAP). The project was awarded $5M by FASTLANE and nearly $3M by HAP. These grants made the project realizable.

In April 2018, Winter Storm Evelyn caused severe damage to the docking facilities and revetment at Manitowoc. Foth provided construction management services to repair storm damage including revetment stabilization and armoring, parking area subgrade, and base course and asphaltic pavement. Foth provided final design, permitting, bidding, construction engineering and management for the project that includes full demolition and replacement of the dock and fender walls with king piles, sheet piles, rock anchor tension deadman system, and a timber fender face. Construction is taking place during winter conditions during the offseason of the ferry. Foth’s background knowledge of the site, and expertise in engineering, marine infrastructure, construction management, and grant management allowed this fast-track project to be completed in six weeks. Foth is currently providing construction management for the long-term, planned repairs and improvements, and grant management assistance for the FASTLANE and HAP grants.