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MDOT Committee Selects Operator For Bay St. Louis Ferry
Recommendation to Go Before MDOT Commissioners

From: MDOT     Filed 9/19/06 GCN

After evaluating proposals from two vehicular ferry boat operators, a committee formed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) is announcing it has selected Hornblower Marine Services, Inc. of New Albany, Indiana based on the criteria of qualifications, price and technical proposal.  Final consideration and awarding of the ferry boat operator contract will be made by MDOT Commissioners at their meeting Tuesday, September 26, 2006.

MDOT has agreed to secure and provide ferry service between Henderson Point in Harrison County, MS and Bay St. Louis, MS.  Funding for the ferry service as well as the preparatory work for the access and landing sites come from Emergency Relief (ER) funds provided by the Federal Highway Administration.  The ferry service will be free to the public with no fare during the bridge construction period.

MDOT’s Director of Intermodal Planning, Ray Balentine, said the selection reflects the agency’s commitment to making ferry operations between Henderson Point and Bay St. Louis a reality.

“After fully reviewing the qualifications and experience of this company, we feel this contract can be awarded, thereby fulfilling another component necessary to the completion of this project,” said Balentine.  “Along with providing environmental and construction expertise, MDOT’s work to secure the operator shows we are committed to meeting the deadline of November 1, 2006.”

MDOT Executive Director Larry L. “Butch” Brown said that restoring transportation for the public is a critical need.  “Because of the cooperation of local, state and federal government, the goal of ferry service will be reached and MDOT is proud to make it happen,” said Brown.

MDOT crews are working to repair a half mile stretch of Old Highway 90 and clear nearly a mile of county roads in the landing vicinity.  Also, sections of the Third Avenue roadbed, which were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, will be repaired. 

Along with road work, MDOT maintenance crews will accomplish all phases of ferry landing construction, except pile driving and material supply. Last week, Hattiesburg's Warren Paving Inc. was awarded two separate contracts related to the ferry operation.  Warren Paving bid $987,000 for dredging and $1.37 million to cover material and pile driving costs

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