May 22, 2007
Reported By: Natalie Grise
Lester Logray's truck makes frequent stops at the Cameron ferry.
"I have to travel to Cameron. This is one of my main places of hauling out of. I usually start right here," He says.
But earlier this week, divers discovered a bent propeller when checking out a broken rudder on the boat, meaning now there's no easy way around the Calcasieu ship channel. And for truck drivers like Logray, that makes for a long detour.
"If we load on the east side of the docks, we have to travel all the way to Lake Charles, so it's pretty inconvenient," He explains.
Charles Abshire also understands the problem.
"We maybe use it once a week like when our parts come in. When a seamen needs the parts, we bring it to the dock, but with it down we need a boat or we have to travel all the way down to Lake Charles," He says, "It can be inconvienent for us."
And with gas prices rising, that trip costs more than just time.
"You spend more on gas going around," says Crane Operator Terrence Racca, "They need to get it back up running and operational."
The Department of Transportation sympathizes with the frustration, but urges everyone in Cameron to have patience.
"A lot of people think that we're not doing everything to make the ferry run, but it's a piece of machinery. It breaks. It takes fuel," says DOTD Marine Operations Superintendent Jerry Racca, "You know when your car breaks down you have to repair it. It doesn't run indefinitely, without repairs, its just one of those things. We want it to run just as much as they do."
And for truck drivers like Lester Logray, that means some adjustments until it's fixed.
"We've been making do, hoping it gets back up and running here pretty soon."
Although this ferry, the Acadia, is out indefinitely, Cameron won't be without a ferry for long. The other ferry is dry docked in normal rotation, and should be back in two to three weeks. Meanwhile, the DOTD is looking into another ferry in Mississippi.
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