Nungesser gives State of Parish Address to PABI

“We should be able to get the Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry landing open to light traffic within 1 to 2 weeks,” said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser during his January 23 State of the Parish Address at Bayou Barriere Golf Club.

Speaking to the charges from residents and councilmen at the January 10 PPC meeting that the ferry closure was a calculated attempt to keep the Pointe-ala-Hache courthouse from being rebuilt, Nungesser said that immediately after receiving notification from the state that the landing must be closed, he got his contracting
firm working on a temporary solution.

“The courthouse has been voted on by the people, and I will build it where it needs to go, to a reasonable size.”

The recent closure of the Pointe-a-la-Hache ferry spawned outrage from parish residents and the Plaquemines Parish Council, at the January 10 PPC meeting.

The administration issued a press release on January 9 stating that Department of Transportation and Development has deemed the ferry landing unsafe and has ordered Plaquemines Parish to close it immediately.

Several dozen Eastbank residents voiced concerns that the closure of the ferry was cutting them of from basic necessities like a medical center and grocery store—
once a 15 minute ferry ride to Port Sulphur and now 45 minute drive upriver to St. Bernard Parish.

“Many of our residents in this area are on fixed income; this is hard,” said Eastbank representative P.V. Griffin.

Quentin Washington, an Eastbank resident and Parish employee who commutes to Homeplace everyday, said the ferry closure is costing him an extra $40 per trip.

With Billy Nungesser’s January 23, 2013 State of the Parish address, he is reversing his previous statements regarding the durability of the ferry and speaking to the future with regards to keeping the ferry open to “light traffic.”  Residents of Plaquemines Parish are getting a reprieve both financially and as a matter of convenience.

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