BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced that the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry, which closed this morning for repairs, will remain closed until Friday because of damages to the vessel’s propeller.
"We believe the propeller was damaged because of low water levels in the Mississippi River," said DOTD Maintenance Engineer Kevin Reed. "As water levels drop the propeller will sometimes hit the river bed or debris causing damage."
The M/V Feliciana, a smaller17-car ferry, will move to the St. Francisville/New Roads landing while the M/V St. Francisville is repaired. Overnight and into tomorrow, crews will begin making changes to the landing barges to accommodate the smaller ferry and expect operations to resume by Friday morning. DOTD estimates three to four weeks to repair the damaged propeller on the M/V St. Francisville.
DOTD also stated that if the water levels drop another two feet, the ferry may have to temporarily cease operation because the vessel will not be able to access the landings.
The schedule for the St. Francisville/New Roads ferry is 6 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Sunday through Saturday.
Before traveling, drivers should call the Ferry Toll-Free Information line at 1-888-613-3779 for the status of the ferry, or visit the "Ferry Status" page on the right-hand side of the DOTD Web site.