POSTED: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 7:30am
UPDATED: Thursday, January 10, 2013 - 7:34am
Belle Chasse, La — Starting on January 9, the Pointe-a-la-Hache Ferry landing is closed indefinitely. The DOTD has deemed the ferry landing unsafe and has ordered Plaquemines Parish to close the ferry landing immediately.
The Pointe-a-la-Hache Ferry was severely damaged during Hurricane Isaac. The landing is not eligible for FEMA reimbursement on repairs because the landing was repaired with Federal money after Hurricane Katrina. “When the landing was repaired after Katrina, FEMA determined that the administration at the time did not handle it properly. There were no details regarding what was repaired, as a result the federal government will not authorize reimbursable repairs a second time.”
Plaquemines Parish has been making repairs to the ferry landing for over a year to keep it running. “I have been accused by some council members of only wanting to move the ferry to stop the building of the court house,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser, “We have been asking for over a year to consolidate the Belle Chasse Ferry and Pointe-a-la-Hache Ferry into one location in the center of the parish. This would have allowed us to get ahead of the game and assure east bank residents ferry service for the next 30 years and save the parish millions of dollars.”
The on-going Plaquemines Parish Comprehensive Master Plan study recommends a complete conversion of the Plaquemines Parish ferry fleet to a single location in the middle of the Parish. Along with the Master Plan Study, The Army Corps of Engineers has advised the parish not to repair or rebuild the landing in its current location because of the lack of structural integrity of the levees in this area.
Ferry traffic is expected to increase at the Belle Chasse location and residents are encouraged to add extra time to their commute.