Plaq. ferry to return to service Monday

Deidre Cruse

The Plaquemine ferry, closed because of damages from Hurricane Gustav, is expected to return to service on Monday, a highway department spokesman told the POST/SOUTH this week.

Both boats operating between Plaquemine and Sunshine were damaged in the storm, as were the landing ramps.

The operation was expected to return on October 15, but Brendan Rush, a spokesman for the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), said there were delays in bringing replacement ramps up from Grammercy and in repairing the two boats.

At least one boat is expected to be back in service here next week, he said.

Meanwhile, DOTD has announced that the state Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded a clean diesel grant of $295,320 to retrofit two ferries – including the M/V Acadia which operates here – with clean-burning engines.

“This is a welcomed source of funding for our ferry section,” said DOTD Assistant Secretary of Operations Gordon Nelson. “This grant will not only assist us in providing new engines for two vessels in our fleet, but will provide a source of power that is cleaner and better for our environment.”