By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer
The Valley View Ferry currently is closed because of high water, but a longer closure is on the horizon.
“The ferry is going to be closed for cable replacement,” said Madison County Magistrate Roger Barger, a member of the Valley View Ferry Authority Board. “As of (Thursday morning), after speaking to the captain, he predicts that it probably will be Saturday before we may open, but he’s not for sure. It may be Sunday.”
However, cable repairs are scheduled to begin Monday, Jan. 21.
“It’s going to be a seven- to 10-day job,” Barger said. “We are required to inspect the cables every two to three years. These cables last quite a while, and I think they were placed in the mid to late 1990s. The reason they’re being replaced is, naturally, for people’s safety. When the inspector checked them last time, there were swollen (areas in the cables). That indicates deterioration inside the cable.”
The cable replacement is expected to cost $35,000.
“We receive state funding every year, but we asked for additional funding, and we’re glad we did because the counties would have to come up with it.”
The ferry authority was created by the Madison, Fayette and Jessamine county governments.
“We apologize to the public for the upcoming down time,” Barger said.
During the seven to 10 day cable repairs, mechanical repairs to the boat also will be done.
The ferry, which connects the three counties that operate it, is used by an average of 300 to 350 cars a day. In the summer, the number of users can increase to about 500 a day.
The ferry was established in 1785 and originally was operated by private owners.
However, Madison, Fayette and Jessamine counties took joint ownership of it in 1991.
When in operation, the ferry is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Call the Valley View Ferry Authority at 1-859-885-2341 for more details.
Ronica Shannon can be reached at email@example.com or 624-6608.