Louisiana receives $25M federal grant for two ferries
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana is the recipient of a $25 million federal grant to design and construct two ferry boats, in the hopes of improving the state’s ferry systems.
One of the new boats will provide access across the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish while the other ferry will travel across the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Cameron Parish, according to a Thursday press release from Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office.
“Our ferries are an integral part of our rural network, and they provide essential services to the communities they reside in and businesses that rely on their dependable service,” said Shawn D. Wilson, secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.
The two new ferries are expected to “improve traffic flow” in the two southern parishes, Wilson said. Currently each parish has a ferry — the Plaquemine Ferry can hold 35 cars and the Cameron Ferry holds 50. There are five ferries in the state, according to the Department of Transportation and Development website.
Additionally, lawmakers and state officials lauded the economic impacts the boats could bring.
“This (grant) provides needed ferry system improvements and increases economic opportunities to parish residents, as well as aids the growth of local businesses,” said Charles Tillotson, executive director of the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District.
Completion of the Plaquemines Parish ferry is expected in 2027. A time estimate of completing the Cameron Parish was not immediately clear.