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St. Johns River Ferry Expected To Remain Closed For Approximately 2 More Weeks

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JTA
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The St. Johns Ferry was lifted out of the water to inspect the damage done to its propeller system.

The Jacksonville Transportation Authority now has a better idea how long it’s going to take to repair the St. Johns River Ferry, which went out of service last Thursday. 

The Jean Ribault, as the car- and passenger-carrying ferry is also called, was lifted out of the water on Tuesday.

"After an initial inspection conducted by the JTA and the U.S. Coast Guard, we confirmed that the propeller shaft sustained damage that will require repairs before it can be returned to service. As of today, we estimate that work will take approximately two weeks,” said JTA spokesman David Cawton II in an email to WJCT News.

More than 263,000 people have ridden the ferry since January, according to Cawton.

The ferry was shut down Thursday after the operations team reported hearing an unusual noise. Once the ferry was safely docked, divers found a submerged rope had gotten entangled in the propeller system.

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

“The Jean Ribault will be back in the water as soon as those repairs are completed and we can guarantee the safe passage for our customers and our ferry staff,” Cawton said.

In addition to JTA signing off on the repairs, the U.S. Coast Guard will also conduct an inspection before the ferry is put back in service.

The ferry connects two sides of State Road A1A at Mayport. 

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