Supervisors letting bids to repair ferry; service resumes with dropping water

VICKSBURG — Warren County supervisors will advertise for bids for repairs to the Kings Point Ferry.

The Vicksburg Post reports the board has not released a timetable for the work.

The vessel is busiest during deer-hunting season each winter, when hunters flock to Kings Point Island, located north of Vicksburg on the Mississippi River.

Plans are to paint the ferry and replace the two 325-horsepower engines that have helped carry vehicles across the Yazoo Diversion Canal since the current ferry was placed in service in 2005.

“It should have equal power,” said county road manager Buddy Poole said.

He said the Coast Guard will do its annual inspection of the ferry this summer.

The vessel returned to service June 8 after high water on the Mississippi River prompted a brief closure, Poole said.

Ferry service is the lone access to the island, cut off from mainland Warren County when the Mississippi River changed course in the late 19th century and prompted construction of the canal between 1895 and 1903.

For decades, a cable-guided ferry carried vehicles across the canal. The current vessel, purchased in 2005 for more than $600,000, is the lone access hunters, loggers and the island’s part-time residents have to the vast, remote brush.

Two Coast Guard-certified pilots and two contract pilots steer the vessel 12 hours daily.

 

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