Cape-Lewes ferry authority ought to contemplate bridge earlier than new boats | Editorial


The bi-state Delaware River and Bay Authority lately introduced it will pay $1.5 million a yr to develop a grasp plan for brand new, redesigned ferry vessels.

Contemplating the DRBA’s expensive debacle the final time it rebuilt its ferries, this alone ought to set off alarm bells in New Jersey and Delaware.

Within the early 1990s, the authority spent about $5 million per vessel to renovate most of them, an environment friendly strategy to hold the service operating. However the authority board determined to make one in all them, the Twin Capes, “like a cruise ship” and “one of many premier ferry vessels within the nation.” Officers imagined dinner cruises and presumably even on line casino gaming, as a substitute of simply ferrying individuals between North Cape Could and Lewes, Delaware.

The posh Twin Capes value $27 million and began service in 1996. It discovered nearly no new enterprise, however in 2000 a U.S. Meals and Drug Administration inspection discovered “very important unsanitary circumstances.” After three rounds of failed meals checks the next month, the FDA ordered the ferry’s meals service to shut.

The fourth deck added to the Twin Capes made it much less secure, and in 2002 passengers waited two hours at sea in a storm whereas a docking place was ready for it.

Their luxurious ferry goals by no means realized, the DRBA overseers put the Twin Capes up on the market in 2010. Nobody needed it and 6 years later it was scuttled to be a part of a synthetic reef within the Atlantic.

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