BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that a plan has been finalized with Iberville Parish officials on a plan that will extend ferry service at the White Castle landing through June 30, 2013. The ferry was set to close on December 31, 2012 due to budget restraints.
DOTD has swapped a portion of La. 3066 between La. 75 and La. 3066 Spur in exchange for funding the ferry through the end of the state fiscal year. A resolution to accept responsibility for the highway exchanged was approved by the Iberville Parish Council at Tuesday night's meeting. The extension will allow local officials more time to address the needs of the local community. DOTD will develop a project to resurface the roadway before turning it over to the parish.
Approximately 51,000 drivers used the White Castle ferry during last fiscal year, an average of 195 per day. The cost to the state to run the ferry is about $184 per crossing. Closing the ferry will save the state approximately $535 thousand per year.
The ferry operates from 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
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 White Castle ferry, the Edgard/Reserve 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).