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Second ferry added to river crossing

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BATON ROUGE - A second ferry is already docked in Plaquemine, ready to shuttle cars between there and Sunshine next Monday.

It will bring an additional 120 cars across the river every hour during the evening rush.

Drivers were handed flyers Monday afternoon as they boarded the vessel. The Department of Transportation and Development says the second Plaquemine Ferry will help to alleviate congestion on La. 1 and the I-10 Mississippi River Bridge.

"It's going to help people who ride the ferry more than anything," said DOTD Spokesperson Rodney Mallett. "I think it will probably be a drop in the bucket as far as the over-all congestion during peak hours for West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge."

At peak times, some drivers can wait up to an hour or more for a ride on the ferry. They prefer that wait to sitting on the interstate.

"I'd rather sit here and enjoy this beautiful weather on the levee than in bumper to bumper traffic," said Mark Schneider.

"It gives me time to wind down," said Berdell Breaux.

The second ferry holds about 30 cars and goes about the same speed as the current ferry and will run Monday-Friday. DOTD says the cost to run the second ferry is revenue neutral, after changing the operational times.

New Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday, 4:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Additional ferry will run:
Monday-Friday, 3:15 p.m. to 7:15 p.m.

The cost to run the ferry annually is about $3 million.

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