White Castle ferry services changing to cut cost

POSTED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 10:00pm

UPDATED: Monday, July 16, 2012 - 10:04pm

In White Castle ferry service is on the chopping block.

that's according to a statement from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development.

They say it's a move that could save tax payers lots of money, but people living in white castle say losing the ferry would make crossing the river a night mare.

Andrew Cooper used to cross the river to get to work every morning.

"You leave home at a certain time hoping that you catch the White Castle boat," said Cooper. "Lots of time it's either broke down or crews missing or something. That puts you back."

Now the former plant worker says that same commute is even worse.

"Without that White Castle ferry running it puts people in an awkward position going to work, " said Cooper.

The White Castle ferry is out of order because of a mechanical problem.The ferry is supposed to be fixed by late August.

But, money issues have Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development warning it may have to be shut down for good at the end of the year.

"Now you got to go to Plaquemine and the Plaquemine ferry it's closed," said White Castle resident Leonard Major. "We got to go through Baton Rouge that's a whole 40 miles another way."

The White Castle ferry carries more than 150 cars a day across the river costing tax payers $28 per trip.

The DOTD said cutting ferry services would save tax payers $800,000 a year.

Iberville Parish officials say the state hasn't told them the ferry is officially closing.

"Will I fight to try and keep it," said Iberville Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso, Jr. "Yes. If you can't keep then hopefully they would give us some improved Plaquemine ferry service dependable at peak hours stuff like that. "

White Castle Mayor Gerald Jemarr Williams says the DOTD needs do something to help commuters not take a way the ferry.

"You have what you need for a reason, so since it's already there let's use it," said Williams. "Let's put it to use instead of letting it be another thing that just is a waste."

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