Groundbreaking Held for S.S. Badger Dock Construction Project

Local News

Officials gathered Monday afternoon to announce a construction project to the dock that currently houses the S.S. Badger in Manitowoc.

Brian Hinrichs, Senior Client Manager for Foth, a De Pere-based engineering firm, told Local Five that the sea wall the Badger rests against has stood for over 70 years, well beyond its intended lifespan.

“A wall like this, they didn’t have modeling back in that day,” he told Local Five. “It’s amazing that these lasted that long.”

The sea wall is supported by braces that were put in place after the 2014-2015 winter season, when significant damage caused the wall to begin collapsing.

Hinrichs says the braces were put in as a temporary fix to “buy time.”

That time was spent applying for grants, both state and federal.

“The federal grant dollars that came in were really concentrated on the movement of freight,” said Hinrichs, referring to the multiple semi trucks that utilize the ferry. “Every semi, every oversized, overweight load that goes on this boat, doen’t go through the Chicago-Gary Corridor, and the Federal DOT recognized that was going to be a great benefit for both congestion and longevity of the highways.”

Several public figures, such as Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Congressman Glenn Grothman, and Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickles were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Construction on the new sea wall is set to begin in October, following the conclusion of the S.S. Badger’s 2018 season, and is expected to be done in early May 2019.

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