In The News › Algiers Point, Canal Street ferry terminals being repaired

Algiers Point, Canal Street ferry terminals being repaired

Thursday, May 12, 2011
By Paul Rioux
The Times-Picayune

State transportation officials said $300,000 worth of “much-needed repairs” are being made to the storm-damaged Algiers Point and Canal Street ferry terminals.

Double Aught Construction of Belle Chasse is handling the job, which began May 2 and is expected to be completed by June 30, said Bambi Hall, a transportation department spokeswoman.

Work at the Algiers Point terminal includes repairing and painting the roof. At the Canal Street terminal, windows in the main lobby will be replaced, Hall said.

At both terminals, repairs will be made to the pedestrian walkway roofs and steel support structures.

Hall said the project will require portions of the Algiers Point walkway to be closed, but the terminal will remain open to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

She said the repairs will cost about $300,000 and are being paid for by the Office of Risk Management, which handles the state’s self-insurance policies.

The project will not use Crescent City Connection toll revenue, which heavily subsidizes the ferries — a fact that has become a flashpoint in the debate about whether the tolls should be renewed before they expire at the end of 2012.

Noting that 32 percent of toll revenue goes to the three Mississippi River ferries, the nonprofit Bureau of Governmental Research issued a report recently saying the tolls should be allowed to expire because they are paying for too many services unrelated to bridge operations.

The report acknowledged the ferries “provide significant benefits to riders who live or work nearby” and said the routes could be continued, possibly on a more limited basis, with state transportation funding.

Transportation officials said 59,156 people used the ferries during last month’s four-day French Quarter Festival. They said that’s a significant increase from last year, even after taking into account the fact that this year’s festival was a day longer.

Eliminating the extra day drops this year’s ridership down to about 54,000, which is still about 8,500 more than last year.

“With each event, we continue to see steady increases in ridership,” said David Miller, executive director of the Crescent City Connection. “We analyze previous events regularly to provide better service to our riders. I think they can see the difference.”

More information about the ferries can be found at or by calling 504.376.8100. Ferry updates also are provided on at Canal_Ferry, Chalmette_Ferry and Gretna_Ferry.

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