1-of-a-kind Lake Michigan ferry SS Badger gets overhaul to bring coal boiler into compliance

LUDINGTON, Mich. – The 62-year-old SS Badger is the last coal-fired ferry operating in U.S. waters and is undergoing a makeover to meet the terms of a deal with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to eliminate pollution from the disposal of coal ash.

Work on the project began last week at Lake Michigan Carferry in Ludington, Michigan.

The 410-foot ship was launched in 1952, travels between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington. It can carry 600 passengers and 180 vehicles.

A new conveyor system will transport ash from the Badger’s boiler to retention units being built on its car deck 180 feet away. Ash will be stored in four containment bins.

The conveyor system was designed and built by Hapman Conveyors of Kalamazoo. Installation is expected to take six weeks.