BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that a plan has been finalized with St. John the Baptist Parish officials to extend ferry service at the Edgard/Reserve landing through June 30, 2013. The ferry was set to close on December 31, 2012 based on the Streamlining Committee recommendations and budgetary considerations.
DOTD has swapped portions of state-owned highways in exchange for funding the ferry through the end of the state fiscal year, June 30, 2013. A resolution to accept responsibility for the highways was approved by the St. John the Baptist Parish Council at last night’s meeting. The highways include 0.4 miles of La. 639 from La. 18 to the Union Pacific Railroad Crossing, and the I-10 frontage road from U.S. 51 northbound located north of the I-10/US 51 interchange proceeding west on the north side of I-10 approximately 0.7 miles. The extension will allow local officials more time to address the needs of the local community.
In the past few years, the state, with legislative approval, has begun to implement the Streamlining Commission’s recommendations to close specific ferries that do not provide a significant cost benefit to Louisiana taxpayers. DOTD’s cost benefit ratio compares ridership cost to the distance to cross at the nearest alternative river crossing. The state closed the St. Francisville and Melville ferries which saved Louisiana taxpayers approximately $2.7 million. In addition to the Edgard/Reserve ferry, the White Castle ferry is scheduled for closure in 2013. Both of these ferries have bridge crossings which provide alternative routes for drivers and will save taxpayers more than $2 million a year combined.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).