Fredericktown Ferry’s Fate Rests with Vote
Washington PA Observer Reporter
14 May 2013
By Aaron Kendeall, Staff Writer
The fate of the Fredericktown Ferry will be discussed at the
Fayette County commissioners meeting.
Fayette County commissioners will vote later this month whether or
not to dry dock the Fredericktown Ferry.
Fayette County clerk Amy Revak confirmed commissioners added two
items concerning the ferry to the agenda of the next general
meeting at 10 a.m. May 23 at the Fayette County Courthouse. The
items were added during the monthly agenda meeting Tuesday
At the public meeting next week, commissioners will decide whether
Fayette County will halt operation of the Fredericktown Ferry as
of September 3, 2013. A second agenda item will rescind a
resolution passed in November 2012 that authorized advertising for
the solicitation of bids for work to rehabilitate the ferryboat.
Revak said commissioners were discussing a roughly $970 million
Federal Transit Administration grant issued for that
rehabilitation effort that must be used by the end of September.
Washington and Fayette counties both earmarked $100,000 to put
toward the rehabilitation effort.
Fayette and Washington counties share operation of the boat, which
transports passengers and vehicles across the Monongahela River.
Ridership on the ferry has been down since the opening of the
Bakewell Bridge in July, which allows motorists to cross the river
on the Mon-Valley Expressway. County records show that the yearly
income generated from the $2 roundway toll dropped from $7,588 in
2009 to $3,555 last year. The ferryboat cost $124,831 to operate
Commissioners from both counties have been considering permanently
dry-docking the vessel as its deficit continues to rise. Last
year, the boat operated with a budget $28,000 in the red,
according to Fayette County records. Recently, a group unveiled a
plan to turn the ferry into a permanent museum on proposed park
grounds on the Fredericktown side of the Monongahela.
A ferryboat has operated on the stretch of river since the late
18th century. The current steel vessel crawls along a length of
submerged cable and has been in operation since 1977.
Revak was unsure what it would mean for Washington County
commissioners if they chose to keep the ferry open without the
cooperation of Fayette County.