NEW ORLEANS, La. – On Wednesday, December 5, at 9:00 a.m., the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s (DOTD) Crescent City Connection Division (CCCD) will interrupt ferry service at Algiers Point to participate in a full scale exercise testing its Shipboard Safety Management and Contingency Plan (SSMCP). The exercise was previously scheduled for November 28th.
CCCD marine operations, along with the New Orleans Steamboat Company and the New Orleans Paddlewheels, Inc. will be testing vessels at Algiers Point, with oversight from the United States Coast Guard. Prior to the exercise, the last boarding times on the Algiers Point to Canal Street ferry will be 8 a.m., from Algiers Point, and 8:15 a.m., from Canal Street. The ferry will not make any trips after 8:30 a.m. and should resume its regular operating schedule by noon.
The Crescent City Connection ferries, the Paddlewheeler CREOLE QUEEN, and the Steamboat NATCHEZ use a combined and collaborative SSMCP to respond and assist each other during emergencies like fires, groundings, collisions, criminal or terrorist acts. The SSMCP is tested annually with Coast Guard oversight. A full scale exercise occurs every five years to test the vessel’s and crew’s capabilities, and to clarify roles and responsibilities of other local, state, and federal first responders should a maritime incident occur in the Port of New Orleans.
According to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFRs) and Coast Guard Navigation and Inspection Circular 01-03, passenger vessels meeting certain stringent requirements may operate with an alternative to the prescriptive survival craft requirements as per the CFRs when the owner/operator can prove to the Coast Guard their SSMCP offers the same level or greater safety for their passengers. The approval process takes into account many factors including but not limited to the restricted operating area of these vessels on the Lower Mississippi River. This consortium of vessels and other local vessels identified in their SSMCP have agreed to assist each other in the event of an emergency.
For more information, the public is encouraged to contact Coast Guard LCDR Warren at 504-365-2247.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering transportation and public works systems that enhance the quality of life. In addition to more than 16,600 miles of roadway, including over 890 miles of interstate, DOTD supports the development of the state’s aviation, marine and rail infrastructures. Through this work, we are able to facilitate economic development, create job opportunities, improve vital evacuation routes, and make critical freight corridors safer and more efficient.
For more information, please visit www.dotd.la.gov, email email@example.com, or call DOTD’s Customer Service Center at (225) 379-1232 or 1-877-4LADOTD (1-877-452-3683). Business hours are 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Motorists can access up-to-date travel information by dialing 511 or by visiting www.511la.org. Out of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).