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St. Johns River Ferry is returning to service

St. Johns River ferry
Ryan Benk
The St. Johns River Ferry will return to service Wednesday, May 3, 2023.

Drivers heading south on State Road A1A will save loads of time with the return of the St. Johns River Ferry.

The venerable ferry will return to service Wednesday after a three-month maintenance shutdown, the Jacksonville Transportation Authority says.

The ferry service, which connects the north and south ends of State Road A1A between Mayport Village and Fort George Island, will resume after a ceremony at 8 a.m. at 4680 Ocean St. in the village.

The maintenance program, which cost $3 million, includes site safety and operational improvements, bulkhead wall extensions, new catwalk accesses and mooring bollards, and bridge gantry preservation and rehabilitation.

The U.S. Coast Guard mandates routine ferry maintenance every two to three years to ensure the ferry remains in a state of good repair

The three-month closure meant the normal five-minute ferry trip was replaced with a 24-mile detour through the city's Northside, Arlington and Beaches communities to link the Fort George and Mayport areas.

Dan Scanlan is a veteran journalist with almost 40 years as a radio, television and print reporter in the Jacksonville area, as well as years of broadcast work in the Northeast. You can reach Dan at, (904) 607-2770 or on Twitter at @scanlan_dan.