LOUISIANA, (BRPROUD) – A local resident is seeking answers from Louisiana DOTD on why the 2nd Plaquemine ferry is still not operational.
This resident says that the morning ferry ride is enjoyable but the evening one is too much of a gamble.
A 2nd Plaquemine ferry would certainly help and DOTD has responded to the inquiry put forth by the resident.
Louisiana DOTD responded to the questions posed by the resident below:
Unfortunately and as you know, the 2nd ferry at Plaquemine has been out of service since late December 2020, when damage occurred to one of the ferry boat’s bearings and shafts necessitating dry-docking for extensive repairs (the M/V Acadia).
We were nearing being able to resume service with a 2nd boat in late April when the work on the M/V Acadia was completed. However, another ferry boat (M/V St. Francisville) experienced substantial damages during transport around this same time which required dry-docking. Additionally, we have 2 ferry boats which have been in the shipyard for the entirety of 2021 for scheduled dry-docking and repairs necessary to maintain USCG certification.
We were originally anticipating work on the M/V St. Francisville to be completed sometime late this month. However, it was being worked on at a shipyard that was in the path of Hurricane Ida which has brought about further delay. We now anticipate this boat to be ready to return to service by late October.
The other challenge we currently have is filling our deckhand positions. Like many other entry-level positions around the country recently, it has become a significant challenge to staff these positions. We currently have 6 vacancies, which gives us insufficient staffing to operate the 2nd ferry. We are working aggressively to advertise, interview, and fill these positions quickly and hopeful we can accomplish this before the vessel returns.
We appreciate your patience and recognize how important the 2nd ferry is to the surrounding communities.
We will continue to work aggressively to resume operating the 2nd ferry as soon as we can.