Concerns aired about west Ludington Avenue improvements

March 5, 2013

By Alan Neushwander

MCP Corespondent.

LUDINGTON – Three residents spoke during a public hearing Monday regarding proposed improvements to the west end of Ludington Avenue. The City of Ludington is looking to create improved pedestrian access at the Lake Michigan waterfront. The project would provide universal access to people with disabilities by constructing a concrete walkway through the sandy beach area to connect the existing north breakwater leading to the lighthouse to the west end of Ludington Avenue. It would also include a promenade designed to hold a 60-foot by 100-foot tent for special events.

Ludington resident Tom Rotta told the City Council he is against the proposed project.

“This project will impact the city’s most valuable asset, which has received national recognition,” said Rotta. “Is this an improvement or a colossal waste of taxpayer money?”

Gary Klingler and Jim Evans also spoke during the public hearing. Klingler had concerns about losing parking spaces near the beach and playground area. City Manager John Shay informed the council that additional parking spaces will be added to the Loomis Street Boat Launch and along Stearns Outer Drive near the playground. Klingler also voiced concern about traffic flow at a proposed roundabout, which will be located at the west end of Ludington Avenue and Stearns Outer Driver. Evans, meanwhile, proposed a San Francisco-style trolly service that would connect downtown Ludington to the waterfront.

The proposed west end improvements would cost $479,000. The City of Ludington will apply for a $300,000 grant through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to cover a portion of the cost. The City Council is expected to approve a resolution to apply for the grant at its meeting on March 18.

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