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Published: Saturday, 11/17/2001

Lake Michigan ferry link pondered


RACINE, Wis. - The company that runs a ferry from Manitowoc, Wis., to Ludington, Mich., wants to run another ferry from Racine.

Robert Manglitz, owner of Lake Michigan Carferry of Ludington, said Thursday that his company wants to start the service from Milwaukee, but that port has shown little interest.

Mr. Manglitz wants to remodel an older vessel that could be ready by 2003 to carry 620 passengers and 200 cars at 22 mph.

The Port of Milwaukee, however, has been working with Lake Express, a partnership of Milwaukee investors, which wants to bring in a high-speed ferry to carry more than 300 passengers and about 75 cars to Muskegon.

The last regularly scheduled ferry service between Milwaukee and Muskegon was the Milwaukee Clipper, which operated from 1941 to 1970.

Racine officials said the ferry would be part of a larger vision they are developing for Racine Harbor.

County executive Jean Jacobson on announced Wednesday the creation of the Racine County 2020 Harbor Task Force.

“What I wanted to do is look ahead to the next 20 years at what the harbor can become for both recreation and opportunities for tourism,” the county executive said.

Racine's harbor underwent $21 million in renovations, completed in 1986, that added 920 county-owned slips as Reefpoint marina and allowed for 300 more slips to be opened by other developers.

It also led to the development of condominiums, a hotel, and several restaurants.

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