Ferry Usage Down Since Opening Of Mon-Fayette Expressway Bridge
LaBELLE (KDKA) — The Fredericktown Ferry has been carrying people and their cars across the Monongahela River for decades.
It connects LaBelle in Fayette County to Fredericktown in Washington County.
It is used by people who live on both sides of the river, and it is especially popular among SCI Fayette employees who line up to use it each afternoon.
One of the last cable-driven ferries in the country is a routine part of their daily commute to work.
But Fayette County Commissioner Vince Zapotosky says the opening of the Mon-Fayette Expressway Bridge has caused ferry usage to drop from 247 riders per day to just 90.
The cost to operate the ferry isn’t recovered by its current usage.
The ferry was set to get a grant for a major improvement project, but that could change now that an alternate highway route is in place.
Some say the ferry is part of the area’s history and should remain. One woman compared it to the inclines in Downtown Pittsburgh.
The ferry is funded by both Washington and Fayette counties.
Fayette County commissioners will discuss on Tuesday whether funding on their end will continue.
Service will continue until at least Sept. 3.