Q. With all the issues with Interstate 10 and the bridge, particularly in the peak afternoon hours, has DOTD considered increasing its ferry service at Plaquemine, such as running two ferries during peak morning and especially afternoon hours? In the afternoon there is such a long line for the ferry that you may wait for two or three ferries before being able to board. I know they have shut down a number of ferries so they should have available ferries. Also, the state could start charging on both sides of the river (currently they only charge on one side). It would still be cost efficient for motorists, and they might see an increase in usage if the wait times improve. The ferry service is a great alternative, and with the increased employment at the plants nearby, it could provide at least some welcome relief to motorists.

A. Good news, of sorts.

Lauren Lee, public information officer for the state Department of Transportation and Development, tells us that the agency, at the request of the Greater Baton Rouge Industrial Alliance, is evaluating the feasibility of adding an additional ferry during peak hours at the Plaquemine crossing.

There is currently no timeline for completion of the evaluation. In order to make adding another ferry budget-neutral, Lee says, the existing ferry service would have to be reduced during non-peak hours on weekends.

Asked about the current ridership, Lee says: “Pedestrian traffic is less than 250 annually. Daily ferry ridership between the morning peak hours of 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. averages approximately 240 vehicles, and between the afternoon peak hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. averages approximately 450.”

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