Reserve-Edgard ferry set to return Monday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 15, 2011



EDGARD – St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said this week the Reserve-Edgard ferry will return to service Monday morning in time for the parish’s Martin Luther King Day activities.

Robottom told the St. John Council Tuesday the ferry’s captain notified her earlier that day that all repairs and inspections were complete and that the ferry was ready for service starting Monday.

“I intend to ride the ferry across the river to the Edgard ceremony Monday afternoon,” Robottom said.

“This is great news for all residents on both sides of the Mississippi River,” she added.

State Department of Transportation and Development officials said late last week that crews were completing final repairs to the landing barges on both sides of the river.

Work was also being completed on pulleys and wire ropes that operate the landing mechanisms.

The ferry has also gotten final approval from the Coast Guard after electrical repairs to the vessel were recently completed.

The 17-car ferry was docked in 2007 while the Army Corps of Engineers made repairs to the levees and landing sites.

Upon completion of those repairs, which called for the repositioning of a utility pole off the levee’s slope, the parish was caught in a legal struggle with the Archdiocese of New Orleans over access to land near the river batture that is owned by St. John the Baptist Church in Edgard. It was settled last year.

The court battle stretched out more than a year before the church relented and allowed the parish to use the land to place the pole.

The ferry also survived a shortage of crew members as well as an attempt to completely cut service due to state budget constraints.

The ferry’s shutdown produced a 35- to 40-minute detour to the Veterans Memorial Bridge between Gramercy and Wallace for any parish residents wishing to cross the river to either side.

Robottom said the ferry will operate Monday through Friday from 5 a.m. to 8:45 p.m. The first ferry crossing will leave from Reserve at 5 a.m. and the final crossing will leave Edgard at 8:45 p.m.

Before heading out for a trip, drivers and pedestrians can call a toll-free information line at 1-888-613-3779 for the status of the ferry, or visit the “Ferry Status” page on the right-hand side of the DOTD website, www.

Drivers can also access updates on the ferry through Twitter by visiting By creating a Twitter account, drivers can receive automatic updates on the ferry’s status via their Twitter page or a text message to a cell phone.