The McCann Ferry, which carries just a few people at a time across the Eel River, is decidedly the pipsqueak among 35 ferry services in the country that recently received grants to improve their facilities. It doesn’t transport cars and mobs of people like most of the venerable old beasts on the list, such as the Fort Gates Ferry, in Putnam County, Fla., the oldest-operating U.S. ferry at 157 years of age. Nor can it begin to imagine the crowds aboard ferries servicing Staten Island, various locales in Washington State or even Lake Powell in Utah.
But quantity of users and size of the vessel aren’t the driving criteria behind the $39,354,654 in grants issued under the Federal Highway Administration's Ferry Boat Program. Filling a transportation gap is, according to a news release put out by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
"These grants are all about making it easier for people to get to work and go about their daily lives," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
Drayton Island (two grants)
M/V Thomas Jefferson
Six Ferry Vessels in New Orleans (new marine radar)
Fairhaven Vessel Maintenance Facility
North Haven and Vinalhaven
Little and Great Diamond Islands
Detroit Wayne County Port Authority
Staten Island Ferry Maintenance Building
Canby (M.J. Lee)
Guemes Ferry Anacortes Dock
Vashon Island Water Taxi
Washington State Ferries