Press Releases

Jaime Herrera Beutler, Senator Patty Murray Help Secure Permit for New Columbia River Ferry in Wahkiakum County

Without permit, quickly approaching dredging deadline threatened to sever ferry crossing

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Washington, DC, November 10, 2014 | comments
Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Senator Patty Murray welcomed the recent announcement that Wahkiakum County will receive the necessary permit to finish the berth and channel improvements for its new Columbia River ferry.
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Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler and Senator Patty Murray welcomed the recent announcement that Wahkiakum County will receive the necessary permit to finish the berth and channel improvements for its new Columbia River ferry.

Jaime teamed up with Senator Patty Murray when Wahkiakum County asked for help in obtaining the U.S. Army Corps permit as quickly as possible. This critical link for Southwest Washington residents runs at least 18 ferries a day, 365 days a year, and is one of the only alternate routes to U.S. Highway 30 and the Astoria bridge.

Without this U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit for dredging and construction, the Columbia River ferry route would be left unable to accommodate either the existing ferry or the new ferry scheduled for delivery in February–cutting off this important transportation route for Washington and Oregon residents.

Wahkiakum County is scheduled to receive a new, larger ferry in February, 2015, requiring widening and deepening of the channel. Problems arose when the permit hit delays, putting in jeopardy the work that must be completed before the December dredging deadline. The Westport, Oregon landing alterations will not allow the old ferry to dock there.

“This announcement comes without a moment to spare to keep the Columbia River ferry project on track,” said Jaime. “Southwest Washington communities rely on this ferry both for daily transportation and in case of emergency blockages on other routes. Fortunately, Senator Murray and I were able to work with Wahkiakum County and the U.S. Army Corps to help navigate this critical deadline and keep the project moving forward. I’m hopeful that our cooperation will allow its timely completion, and look forward to the new ferry providing better service to Southwest Washington residents without delay.”

“For families and businesses across Southwest Washington, it’s absolutely critical that the Columbia River ferry project move forward on time,” said Senator Murray. “I’m pleased that Representative Herrera Beutler and I were able to help take the risk of a delay off the table, so that Southwest Washington residents can enjoy improved ferry service as soon as possible.”
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