Demolition of Canal St. Ferry Building Approved

The New Orleans City Council has cleared the way for the demolition later this year of the 37-year-old Canal Street ferry building, even though the RTA is at least $17 million short in funding construction of a new building.

The demolition is expected to begin in August.

The Council and Mayor Mitch Landrieu are urging the RTA to include a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks, but it's not clear where the money will come to cover the extra $2.6 to $3 million for the bridge.

Funding for other projects proposed in the city may have to be diverted to build the pedestrian bridge.

RTA acquired the ferry operation in 2014 from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development after Orleans and Jefferson Parish voters decided two years earlier to discontinue toll collections on the Crescent City Connection. 

Transdev, the private operator of the ferry service for the RTA, will have to return to the Planning Commission with the final designs for the new terminal, with the goal of having everything completed by the city's upcoming tricentennial celebration next year.

The project's managers have said its design is about 50% complete. While they have secured $15 million in federal transportation grants, approximately $17 million more is needed to complete it, resulting in a grand total of $32 million to replace the building, not including the cost of the bridge over the railroad tracks.

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