White Castle ferry to close permanently on Friday, June 21 due to lack of staff

Staff Writer
Donaldsonville Chief

BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) announced today that the White Castle ferry will close permanently on Friday, June 21 due to a lack of licensed staff required to operate the vessel.

Due to the resignation of ferry staff, the White Castle ferry which was originally scheduled to close permanently on Friday, June 28, will cease service on Friday, June 21. Ferry employees were originally scheduled to be laid off after service ended.  

The ferry is being closed based on recommendations from the Streamlining Committee citing low ferry ridership and a reasonable alternative river crossing. These recommendations were approved by the Legislature. Closing the ferry will save the state approximately $1.3 million per year.

In the past few years, DOTD has begun to implement the Streamlining Commission’s recommendations to close specific ferries that do not provide state or regional transportation connectivity and are primarily local transit services. The state closed the St. Francisville and Melville ferries which saved Louisiana taxpayers approximately $2.7 million. In addition to the White Castle ferry, the Edgard/Reserve ferry is scheduled for closure in 2013. Closing these ferries will save taxpayers more than $3.5 million a year combined.

Operations will continue as normal until the date of closure. The ferry operates from 4:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

After June 21, motorists wishing to cross the river will need to take an alternate route. The nearest river crossing is north of the ferry landing via the Plaquemine ferry.

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 930 miles of interstate and 13,000 bridges, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient. For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email dotdcs@la.gov, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).