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St. Johns River Ferry Closed Until Further Notice For Propeller Repairs

Ryan Benk
The St. Johns River Ferry has been closed for repairs.

The St. Johns River Ferry has been shut down indefinitely after the operations team reported hearing an unusual noise Thursday morning.

The ferry was brought back to the Mayport slip where divers found a submerged rope had gotten entangled in the propeller system, causing damage that will require repairs.

The damage did not impact the ferry’s ability to dock and customers onboard were not impacted, according to Jacksonville Transit Authority spokesman David Cawton.

The ferry will need to be lifted out of the water to be repaired. Before it can go back into service it will have to be inspected by the JTA and the U.S. Coast Guard.

A date to resume service hasn’t been determined yet. “The JTA is committed to utilizing all of our resources and contacts to expedite this process to ensure this vital mode of transportation in Northeast Florida is returned to service as soon as it is safe,” said Cawton in an email to WJCT News.

Last year the ferry underwent $3.35 million in repairs and maintenance.

While the ferry is out of service, regular commuters will face an approximately 28 mile bypass, with the closest crossing being the Dames Point Bridge.

The ferry connects Mayport and Fort George Island and transports both people and cars traveling State Road A1A over the St. Johns River.

JTA has said previously that the ferry accommodates up to 40 cars and 200 people at a time.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Bill joined WJCT News in September of 2017 from The Florida Times-Union, where he served in a variety of multimedia journalism positions.