DORENA, Mo. -- The Dorena-Hickman Ferry will be back in operation this spring.
"With the budget now set up for the Tennessee and Kentucky departments of transportation, it's determined that the ferry will commence operation March 1 on a 12-hour, seven-day-a-week schedule," said Swayne Byrd, chairman of the Mississippi County Port Authority Board.
"We are in the process of closing the contract for 2009 between MoDOT and the Kentucky DOT for operation of the ferry. It seems highly probable that we will have Tennessee DOT aboard as the third party shortly. They are in the last panel discussions on it at this time."
Plans are for the ferry to run during daylight hours, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., according to Byrd.
Operations of the ferry, which runs between Dorena, Mo., in Mississippi County and Hickman, Ky., were suspended in March due to high water on the Mississippi River from spring flooding.
Mechanical problems in the ferry tugboat were then discovered that prevented the ferry from resuming service.
MoDOT and the Kentucky DOT each chipped in $20,000 to rebuild both engines.
The ferry was previously operated by STAM Marine Enterprises and piloted by Capt. Stephen P.J. Stanionis, who resigned in November.
The new contract operator and pilot is Edward Floyd of Hickman.
Port Authority officials have also decided to relocate both of the ferry's landings to levees near the current landings.
"In both cases it only involves a couple of hundred yards," Byrd said. "This gives the ferry the definite possibility of becoming a commercial truck route for crossing the Mississippi."
A date for moving the landings will be set once this year's funding from Missouri is appropriated.