The White Castle ferry is shutting down a week early because the state has no staff to continue operating the vessel until its planned June 28 closure.

The state Department of Transportation and Development said the ferry will close permanently Friday because workers are resigning in advance of their planned layoffs and the state has no licensed staff to run the ferry.

DOTD says the state will save $1.3 million a year by closing the ferry.

Without the service, drivers must go 22 miles north to the Plaquemine ferry or 42 miles south to the Sunshine Bridge.

DOTD has shut down several ferries that primarily serve locals, including crossings at St. Francisville and Melville. The department intends to close the Edgard-Reserve ferry later this year.