The oldest continuously operating ferry in the United States will be out of commission for several weeks. The Valley View Ferry on the Kentucky River will undergo inspection as required every five years by the Coast Guard.
Port Captain Clayton Embly said the barge, which carries vehicles across the river between Madison and Jessamine Counties, has no apparent problems but still needs to be inspected. “The vessel is just about 20 years old and she’s in very good condition, well suited to the mission she has to fulfill. Really she’s in excellent condition but, you still got to haul her out to make doubly sure,” said Embly.
Embly noted the barge will be raised up on dry dock to be thoroughly checked out. On a busy day, Embly added some 400 cars are transported back and forth across the Kentucky River at no cost.
The trip by land will lengthen the journey substantially for many regular ferry goers. “To go from the ferry landing on the Madison County side to the ferry landing on the Jessamine County side is about 45 minutes. So, realistically it’s probably going to add about a 30 minute commute to everyone’s day,” Embly explained.
Embly says the trip by ferry across the river is about two and a half minutes. The barge captain says Madison, Fayette, and Jessamine County governments along with the state fund operation of the ferry. The inspection of the barge is expected to take about a month to complete.
Support quality, local journalism, please consider making a contribution.