DOTD celebrates the construction of two new ferry boats for the Cameron crossing
Thursday, October 05, 2023 at 12:39:59 PM
Lockport, La. – DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda joined state and local officials today to celebrate the construction of two new ferry boats for the Cameron crossing in Cameron Parish.

Work on this $49.7 million project is already underway. Each boat will measure 190 feet, by 50 feet, by 13 feet. Once complete, the new boats will replace the Cameron II, which has been in service since it was built in 1964.

Having these new boats in service will allow large commercial vehicles to be loaded and unloaded without any interruptions. Currently, when the Cameron II is in required dry docking, a temporary side-loading ferry is put in service. That vessel cannot accommodate trucks longer than 50 feet, forcing those trucks to detour 100 miles – or more than two hours – around the Calcasieu Ship Channel.

The new ferries will also help residents safely evacuate from hurricanes or other weather-related emergencies. They will also reduce greenhouse gases through battery-powered electric thrusters charged by diesel generators on board. The thrusters have the capability to eventually be upgraded to fully electric.

“The building of these new ferry boats is an important step forward in replacing the nearly 60-year-old ferry in Cameron Parish,” said DOTD Secretary Eric Kalivoda. “Projects such as these are a testament to the department’s commitment to improving infrastructure in Southwest Louisiana and statewide.”

“There are few projects we have been fortunate enough to work on in our time in public service that are as impactful and needed as the Cameron Ferry project,” said Rep. Ryan Bourriaque. “This one project has quality of life, economic competitiveness, tourism, and public safety implications that are beyond measure. Without the cooperation of the Governor, the Legislature, and DOTD, none of this would be possible. This has been a long time coming.”

“We’re glad for the people of Cameron Parish — and for the people who visit us for fishing, hunting, birdwatching, and other recreation — that we’re getting the ferry replaced,” said Cameron Parish District 1 Police Juror Sonny McGee. “What the state is doing here is an important step in transportation and quality of life.”

“In laying the keel today, we’re providing a pathway to ferry service that’s more dependable, and we’ve needed it,” said Cameron Parish District 5 Police Juror Scott Trahan.

“We thank DOTD, state Sen. Mark Abraham and state Rep. Ryan Bourriaque for their work to make this happen,” said Cameron Parish District 7 Police Juror Butch Guidry.

The project’s contractor is the Houma, Louisiana-based Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors. This project is expected to be completed sometime in 2025.