Considering that the Algiers ferry has been a fixture on the river for years, its demise seemed to come suddenly. The ferry lost its main source of funding, the Crescent City Connection tolls, earlier this year. No private company stepped in to take it over.Dreams to turn it into a party boat foundered.
This story was reported by Della Hasselle of The Lens, and produced by Janaya Williams.
The Algiers Ferry was hit with a reduction in hours last week. Ferry riders and small business owners say they’re already feeling the effects, and with major funding lost and no clear plan in place for the ferry’s future operations, West Bank commuters are looking for answers.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has announced the Mississippi River schedules for Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 2-3.
The Gretna Ferry, which services the route to and from Canal Street, will go into service at 12:45 p.m. It will make its last trip from Gretna at 11:30 p.m. and its last trip from Canal at midnight. Departures from Gretna will be made on the half hour and from Canal on the hour. Gretna is a pedestrian only route.
Work on the damaged Algiers Point Ferry Terminal that was suspended yesterday due to inclement weather will be completed today by 3:30 p.m., according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
Ferry service from the Algiers Point terminal will remain suspended while the work is being completed, the DOTD said. However, the DOTD says all construction is weather-dependent, and may need to be rescheduled again.
The Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry landing has been closed indefinitely as unsafe. A Plaquemines Parish news release says the Department of Transportation and Development ordered it closed immediately on Wednesday.
The landing was damaged by Hurricane Isaac. The parish has been working on repairs for more than a year to keep it running. It says the landing isn't eligible for Federal Emergency Management Administration aid because a previous administration didn't give any details about repairs that FEMA paid for after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
State officials say the White Castle ferry is expected to be out of service another 4-6 weeks.
The state Department of Transportation and development said repairs to the vessel's propeller shaft were expected to be completed by mid-September. But delays in dry docking, the discovery of the need for additional repairs and the landfall of Hurricane Isaac have pushed the estimated return of the ferry to mid-to-late October.
The ferry crosses the Mississippi River between White Castle and Geismar, upriver from New Orleans.
The ferry that carries passengers across the Mississippi from White Castle to Carville ferry has been temporarily docked since June due to a mechanical malfunction, but state transportation officials say it will be shut down permanently by year's end to save $800,000 annually.
It is a plan that U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond hopes the state will reconsider. Richmond has asked Gov. Bobby Jindal to reconsider his proposal to shut down the White Castle and Reserve-Edgard ferries.