Kentucky And Illinois Renew Agreement To Fund Ohio River Ferry
A contract between Kentucky and Illinois’ transportation systems ensures the continued operation of a river ferry essential to farmers. The Cave-in-Rock Ferry on the Ohio River was facing a potential shutdown due to funding uncertainty.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Cave-in-Rock Ferry carries on average 500 vehicles a day across the river and without the ferry, drivers would face a 69-mile detour. The ferry connects Crittenden County to Hardin County, Illinois.
Crittenden County Judge-Executive Perry Newcom said the ferry funding was forgotten in this year’s state budget meeting.
“The ferry operates on a two-year agreement, which generally coincides with the state's annual budget. And of course, this year, the state only approved a one year budget due to the COVID issues,” Newcom said. “So, the ferry kind of got lost in the shuffle.”
During a June 29 meeting of the Ohio River Authority a decision was made to extend the 2019 contract. According to The Waterways Journal, the renewed agreement means Kentucky and Illinois will each pay $464,300 dollars per year, for the next two years.
Newcom said the cost to operate Cave-in-Rock Ferry will remain the same as 2018-2019.