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The McCann Ferry, which carries just a few people at a time across the Eel River, is decidedly the pipsqueak among 35 ferry services in the country that recently received grants to improve their facilities. It doesn’t transport cars and mobs of people like most of the venerable old beasts on the list, such as the Fort Gates Ferry, in Putnam County, Fla., the oldest-operating U.S. ferry at 157 years of age. Nor can it begin to imagine the crowds aboard ferries servicing Staten Island, various locales in Washington State or even Lake Powell in Utah.

But quantity of users and size of the vessel aren’t the driving criteria behind the $39,354,654 in grants issued under the Federal Highway Administration's Ferry Boat Program. Filling a transportation gap is, according to a news release put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

"These grants are all about making it easier for people to get to work and go about their daily lives," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

The grantees:

AK

Pelican

$2,560,000

AL

Mobile Bay

$405,000

AR

Peel

$256,000

AZ

Lake Havasu

$2,600,000

CA

McCann

$120,000

Larkspur

$2,000,000

FL

Drayton Island (two grants)

$848,000

 

Fort Gates

$816,000

 

KY

Valley View

$600,000

LA

M/V Thomas Jefferson

$1,034,000

Six Ferry Vessels in New Orleans (new marine radar)

$196,180

MA

Salem

$2,530,613

 

Fairhaven Vessel Maintenance Facility

$500,000

 

ME

North Haven and Vinalhaven

$360,000

Little and Great Diamond Islands

$400,000

MI

Detroit Wayne County Port Authority

$2,400,000

MS

Ship Island

$223,020

NC

M/V Hyde

$960,000

State Shipyard

$1,440,000

NJ

Bayshore

$3,000,000

NY

Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Building

$1,000,000

Ocean Beach

$1,100,000

Whitehall

$2,000,000

OH

Ohio River

$260,000

Kelleys Island

$2,000,000

OR

Canby (M.J. Lee)

$1,000,000

TX

Galveston

$1,440,000

Port Aransas

$2,745,802

Harbor Island

$738,039

UT

Lake Powell

$240,000

WA

Guemes Ferry Anacortes Dock

$320,000

Vashon Island Water Taxi

$1,482,000

Steilacoom

$480,000

Washington State Ferries

$1,300,000

       

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Heidi Walters

Bio:
Heidi Walters has been a staff writer with the North Coast Journal since 2005.

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