The Plaquemine ferry is expected to close on Thursday, February 28 for approximately three to four hours, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). The closure is necessary for crews to move traffic to the uppermost loading ramp due to rising water in the Mississippi River.
Every effort will be made for the closure to take place during off-peak traffic hours, but the closure is ultimately dependent on the water level, DOTD said in a release. The ramp must be moved once the river reaches approximately 40’, which is forecast to occur by Thursday.
Once the ramp is moved and ferry service resumes, DOTD will enforce the following high-water restrictions:
- No large trucks (e.g., dump trucks)
- No buses
- No trailers
At this time, the river is expected to crest at 43.5’ in Baton Rouge on March 18. Motorists should be aware that as the river approaches the 43’ level on the Baton Rouge gauge, the probability of ferry service interruptions and complete closures greatly increases. However, DOTD will make every effort to keep the ferry open as long as possible and with as few disruptions as possible.
As a reminder, the normal ferry hours are as follows:
- Monday through Friday, the first boat runs from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Monday through Friday, the second boat runs from 5:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday, one boat runs from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
When two ferries are in operation, they are scheduled to depart every 15 minutes. When there is only one, it leaves every 30 minutes (departs Plaquemine at :00 and :30, Sunshine at :15 and :45).
Call 511 or visit 511la.org for additional travel information. Out-of-state travelers may call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Motorists may also monitor the LA DOTD website at http://www.dotd.la.gov/, by selecting MYDOTD, or by visiting the DOTD Facebook and Twitter pages.