Fayette to Cease Operations of Fredericktown Ferry
Washington PA Observer Reporter
23 May 2013
By Scott Beveridge, Staff Writer
UNIONTOWN – Fayette County commissioners, as expected Thursday,
voted to cease operation in September of an historic ferry it has
been operating on the Monongahela River in cooperation with
Washington County because the boat has been losing riders to a new
The three Fayette commissioners voted unanimously to cease
operating ferryboat Frederick on Sept. 3, but will hold off
another month before nixing a nearly $1 million federal grant
earmarked for the vessel in the likelihood another entity decides
to manage its runs, Commissioner Angela M. Zimmerlink said.
“I just think the cost of this, clearly we are losing money,”
Commissioner Vincent Zapatosky said.
A ferry has been in operation between Fredericktown and LaBelle
since the late 1700s, and the steel one in operation today, built
in 1948, has been funded by the two counties with money they
receive from state fuel taxes since 1977.
Fayette records show the ferry budget ended 2012 with a $28,000
deficit, which grew by $9,000 from the previous year. That loss
increased to $450,000 since 2009 when the money used from the
state liquid fuel tax is taken into consideration to cover the
cost of ferry operations, Zimmerlink said.
Zapatosky said he spoke on the telephone about the ferry’s fate
with Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi, who has said
Washington County would wait to receive an official word on the
ferry from Fayette before deciding how it would approach the
No one from the public attended the Fayette County commissioners’
meeting Thursday to express an opinion on that county getting out
of the ferry business.
The cable-driven vessel is the only ferry in operation on the Mon.
It only serves about 90 cars a day, a drop of more than 100 since
the nearby Bakewell Bridge opened in July 2012 along the
Washington County residents have created a Facebook page, Friends
of the Fredericktown Ferry, to draw attention to its plight, and
some members of that group are planning to create a display on the
history of Monongahela River ferries to place at a state
Department of Transportation welcome center along Interstate 79 in