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Project Profile: Cameron Parish Ferry Project and Rural Bridge Program, Louisiana

Picture of the M/V Cameron ferry in Cameron Parish at dock

The M/V Cameron II ferry in Cameron Parish

Source: Credit to the Louisiana Department of Development and Transportation

Project Name

Cameron Parish Ferry Project and Rural Bridge Program


Cameron Parish, Louisiana and rural areas of central and southern Louisiana

Project Sponsor/Borrower

Louisiana State Bond Commission and Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD)

Program Areas

Value CapturePublic-Private Partnerships


Bridge, Ferry


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Build America Bureau (BAB) granted $38.9 million in low-interest Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans to the Louisiana State Bond Commission for the benefit of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The project scope includes the replacement of a nearly 60-year-old vessel with the design and construction of two hybrid diesel-electric ferries. Each ferry can carry approximately 35 cars, 6 semi-trucks, and 500 passengers across the 1,000-foot Calcasieu Ship Channel. Cameron Parish has a significant oil and gas industry presence and is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Allowing ferry service to all vehicles, especially larger commercial vehicles, supports the area’s economic development objectives. The only alternative to a ferry is a drive of more than two hours. LADOTD approved $56.9 million for the two ferries, construction of which is expected to be completed in mid-2025.

TIFIA loan proceeds will also finance the replacement of 11 structurally deficient bridges in rural areas across six different parishes through central and eastern Louisiana, as part of Louisiana’s Statewide Bridge Program totaling $65.4 million. The bridges to be replaced include:

  • LA121 Calcasieu River Bridge Replacement, Rapides Parish – 3 bridges
  • LA9 Middle Fork Bayou and Creek Bridges, Claiborne Parish – 3 bridges
  • LA961 Sandy Creek Bridge, East Feliciana Parish – 1 bridge
  • LA1183 Turner Canal Bridge, Avoyelles Parish – 1 bridge
  • LA1226 Bayou Chevreuille Bridge, Natchitoches Parish – 1 bridge
  • Joe’s Bayou & Carraway Lake Bridge, East Carroll Parish – 2 bridges
Cost (millions)


Funding Sources

Cameron Ferry Project: $56.9M
TIFIA Loan: $18.2M (secured by Act 443 BP settlement payments)
State Funding: $38.6M
Federal Funding: $0.1M

Structurally Deficient Bridge Replacements: $65.4M
TIFIA Loan: $20.7M (secured by Act 443 BP settlement payments)
FHWA Bridge Formula Program: $31.5M
State Funding: $13.2M

Project Delivery / Contract Method


Private Partner

Ferry Design: Elliott Bay Design Group
Ferry Construction: Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors, LLC
Bridge Contractors: Brown Industrial Construction, LLC; JB James Construction, LLC; Merrick LLC; Louisiana Bridge, Inc.

Project Advisors / Consultants


  • Financial Advisors: Ernst & Young Infrastructure Advisors, LLC and Lamont Financial Services Corporation
  • Legal Advisor: Foley & Judell, LLP

To USDOT Build America Bureau:

  • Financial Advisor: PFM Financial Advisors LLC
Legal Advisor: White & Case LLP

USDOT Build America Bureau

Duration / Status

Credit Agreement Executed: November 3, 2022.
FY Closed: FY2023

Both the Cameron Parish Ferry Project and the Bridge Program are estimated to be completed in 2025.

TIFIA Credit Assistance

$38.9 million

The two TIFIA loans totaling $38.9 million are the fifth and sixth TIFIA loans that Louisiana has closed as part of a bundled approach, which allows for more efficient processing and expedient closing.
Financial Status/Financial Performance

Closed in FY2023


The two new hybrid-electric ferries will help reduce greenhouse gases by using battery-powered electric thrusters. The batteries will be charged by diesel generators on board but can be upgraded to fully electric in the future. Additionally, the projects qualified for the Rural Project Initiative, which offer loans for up to 49% of the project’s eligible costs, as well as fixed interest rates that are half the U.S. Treasury rate.

Related Links / Articles

State Bond Commission
Lela Folse, Director Secretary
(225) 219-1134;

Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Barry D. Keeling, Deputy Secretary
(225) 379-1200;

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