- 2013 - December - 27th -

Ferry return delayed two weeks

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

Out of service for most of the month, the St. Johns River Ferry will not be transporting people for at least another couple of weeks.

It initially was planned for the service to undergo an inspection and needed maintenance and be back in service by the end of the month, but it will take longer, according to emails from the St. Johns River Ferry Commission.

The commission was established last year to operate

the service and ensure its viability.

Mark Fernandez, general manager of HMS Ferries Inc., said in a Monday email that repairs have moved along but tracking down parts have caused delays.

“As best as can be predicted right now, it’s looking more like a ferry schedule start date of Jan. 8th-10th,” he said.

In emails a week before, Tom Goldsbury, city Planning and Development engineering manager, told commission members of the costs for unforeseen work and the delays in getting the ferry back into the water.

“Unfortunately, there have been several items uncovered as things we opened up for inspection,” he said.

Those additional items raised the costs to almost $1.026 million, still under the $1.19 million available for capital repairs.

An update from Fernandez in the same Dec. 20 email said problems have arisen out of BAE Systems’ association with a subcontractor that made mistakes on its parts list.

The subcontractor also had issues with resources during the holidays.

The ferry serves as a link between Heckscher Drive on the Northside and Mayport Village.

With it out of service, automobiles must use the Dames Point Bridge, tacking on an additional 20-30 minutes per trip.

For more information on the service, visit coj.net.



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