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Moving the American Economy - U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Contact: Doug Hecox
(202) 366-0660
FHWA 12-06

New Federally Funded $5 Million Ferry Contract to Provide Free Connection from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian, Miss.

WASHINGTON, DC - Drivers will be able to use a free ferry service between Pass Christian and Bay St. Louis, Miss. starting Nov. 1, 2006, under the terms of a nearly $5 million federally funded contract, Acting Secretary of Transportation Maria Cino announced today.

"Repairing the region's bridges shouldn't serve as a roadblock to redevelopment," Acting Secretary Cino said. "Residents and local businesses are counting on us to get this region moving again."

Acting Secretary Cino said the ferry service was necessary to handle traffic between the two towns while repair work on the bridge that once connected them is ongoing. The bridge was damaged last August during Hurricane Katrina and work to repair it won't be completed until next May, the Acting Secretary noted. She added that the Federal Highway Administration would pay the entire cost of the seven-month contract out of its Emergency Relief funds.

Cino noted that the FHWA approved Mississippi's selection of Hornblower Marine Services to provide the ferry service, and that the company would begin work on the state contract starting Nov. 1, 2006. She added that under the terms of the contract, ferry service will be provided daily at 45-minute intervals from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The Acting Secretary added that the US Department of Transportation already has provided Mississippi with more than $1.1 billion since last fall. She said the money has helped pay for debris removal, bridge and road repairs, support for transit operations and to help finance the reconstruction of the Gulfport-Biloxi Regional Airport.

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