Saturday, June 29, 2024

KY says ferry deal is reached

The State of Kentucky issued a news release shortly before noon today saying that a deal has been reached to keep the Cave In Rock Ferry open for the next two years. The full text of that news release is below.


Team Kentucky, and partners at the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have finalized an agreement with a local ferry authority that maintains a vital transportation connection between Western Kentucky and Illinois while also responsibly stewarding taxpayer dollars.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and IDOT have engaged officials with the Ohio River Ferry Authority (ORFA) in Crittenden County, Ky., since February to develop a new two-year agreement to support the Cave-in-Rock Ferry.

ORFA was created by the Crittenden County Fiscal Court to oversee the management and operation of the private ferry service, which is equally funded by Kentucky and Illinois. 

“I applaud the teamwork among all our partners to negotiate an improved agreement that ensures citizens of Western Kentucky will remain connected to their neighbors and neighboring communities in Southern Illinois,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “The updated contract ensures transparent and responsible terms are in place to appropriately manage taxpayer dollars from both states used to support the private ferry operation.”   

KYTC and ORFA agreed to a 13% increase in annual funding – the contract is now $1,878,060 each year – while updating terms of the agreement to ensure alignment with the state’s procurement regulations and providing more transparency regarding how state funds are used to support the ferry.

The Cave-in-Rock Ferry carries about 300 vehicles per day at no cost to travelers. Travelers can continue to rely on the Cave-in-Rock Ferry for their journeys between Cave-in-Rock, Ill., and Crittenden County, Ky., without the need for alternate routes.