Marina owner attempts to stop bridge construction

June 6, 2013

By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON – A Ludington marina owner has attempted to file a temporary injunction against the rebuilding of the Washington Avenue bridge. Ray Karboske II, co-owner of Ray’s Auto Marine, says toxic sediment is on the bottom of the marina basin near the bridge and excavation in that area will release the sediment into Pere Marquette Lake and nearby wetlands.

Karboske, who, along with his father Ray Karboske Sr., owns the marina on the northeast side of the bridge, said he took soil samples from the marina in 2005 because he wanted to dredge. “The samples were marginal and I was told by the DEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) that I would need to haul the soil off to a landfill because it was toxic.

“I also took two samples a couple of months ago and a guy from the DEQ told me that I can’t stir up the soil from the bottom because the toxics will go down stream.”

Karboske said he did not know off hand what specific toxics were in the soil.

The petition states the city has caused harmful intrusion of toxins on Karboske’s property. Shay and Karboske both said, though, the alleged toxins are most likely caused by 100 years of a variety of elements from vehicle run-off to contamination from the railroad, when it went past the property en-route to the carferry docks.

Karboske did not say whether he ultimately wanted the bridge re-built or not, but said he thinks the city should address the contamination first.

On Wednesday he dropped off a petition in 51st Circuit Court at the Mason County Clerk’s office.

Denise Meissner of the circuit court said Karboske did not request action be taken on the file, however, and therefore Judge Richard Cooper was not expected to see the case.

Ludington City Manager John Shay said he was unaware that Karboske had concerns about the bridge construction nor had he heard about the petition.

“I know he was trying to do some testing there so he could dredge,” Shay said. “The City of Ludington plans to go ahead with the bridge construction. We have a permit from the DEQ and a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. We will follow the statue and the DEQ regulations and will comply with the permits.”

Shay said construction begins next week.