Neebish Islanders Upset with Ferry Not Operating Since Last Week

Those living on Neebish Island have been without a ferry service since Friday.

Islanders are upset and worried about not having a ferry service for the foreseeable future as the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority claims ice conditions are what’s prohibiting the ferry from operating.

One Islander, Lori Miller, said the route it takes is a bit icy but it’s nothing the ferry shouldn’t be able to handle.

“Shutting the ferry down right now, if it doesn’t need to be, the transportation says it’s going to be shut down until mid to late march, that takes us right up to spring break up so we really could be shut down without a ferry for six to seven weeks,” said Miller.Neebish Ice Bridge

To cross the river for supplies and to talk to 9&10 News, Miller had to cross the ice bridge that connects Neebish Island and the town Barbeau, something she’s uncomfortable with. “I just keep hearing the DNR in my mind ‘no ice is safe ice, no ice is safe ice’ and yet this is our only way off at this point,” she said.

Thick ice blocking the ferry has happened before, but the islanders think the transportation authority should be ready for when it happens.

“This is an ongoing problem since the beginning of time. Why haven’t they come up with a solution for the problem so that this doesn’t happen,” said Marian Miller, another resident of Neebish Island.

Chippewa County Commissioner Erik Baron agrees. According to Baron, “EUPTA is a public service transportation authority and they need to have the equipment necessary to keep those ferries running.”

Concern over the ice bridge only grows as the temperatures in Michigan continue to rise.

The ferry is expected to return to service by mid to late March.