FEDERAL GRANT TO FUND FERRY LANDING PROJECT
Clatsop County has received a $1.88 million federal transportation grant for construction of an improved landing at Westport for the Wahkiakum Ferry.
The new, expanded landing will accommodate the larger vessel that Wahkiakum County, which operates the service, plans to put into operation in 2014.
The grant comes from the Ferry Boat Discretionary program, a special funding category of the federal Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. Clatsop County will cover the remaining cost of the landing project, which has a total estimated price tag of $2.35 million.
The project will also alleviate a chronic problem at the existing 30-year-old landing, which has been plagued by siltation that hampers operations at low tides and at times has caused damage to the loading ramp. The new ramp will extend into deeper water.
Construction is expected to begin in Fall 2012.
The Wahkiakum Ferry, operating between Puget Island, Wash. and Westport, carries 11 vehicles. According to the Wahkiakum County Public Works Department, the new vessel will carry up to 23 vehicles, and will be designed to handle tour buses and chip trucks. Wahkiakum County learned last week that it will receive a $2.8 million federal grant to fund construction of the new ferry.
The ferry carried 50,763 vehicles in 2010.
Community Relations Coordinator