Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Busy Winter for the Island Line & Bike Ferry

From Local Motion

2012 SH Causeway Repair 2All signs point to 2013 being a huge year for the Island Line Trail.
Local Motion and our many trail partners are working dilligently to have the entire trail repaired from the 2011 flood damage and have our Bike Ferry running daily through the summer!  Here's the latest news:
The South Hero causeway section is under repair thanks to VT Fish & Wildlife and Munson Earth Moving (pictured on left) -- more pictures here
The Colchester causeway section repairs were completed in October 2013 thanks to Colchester and SD Ireland -- pictures here
The Burlington bike path repairs are completed except for spring repaving thanks to Burlington and ECI --pictures here
The new Bike Ferry vessel and the infrastructure to expand service should be out to bid in a few weeks
Thanks again to the 500+ donors to The Big Fix and theFriends of the Island Line as well as the State of Vermont and FEMA.  Together, we're restoring and reconnecting this historic corridor!

Local Motion operated a demonstration Bike Ferry across the 200' water gap in the Colchester - South Hero Causeway for 10 years (2000-2010).
It proved the viability of the connection, but it also showed that service could not be dependable or sustainable without improved infrastructure (studier and bigger boat, wave protection, better ramps and docks). LM staff and consultants developed a plan to improve the ferry crossing.
Bike Ferry Improvements 510px
The Local Motion Board worked with our trail partners to launch The Big Fix -- a campaign to raise $1.5M for ferry expansion and trail repairs in April 2012.  Thanks to the 500+ residents and businesses, the goal was reached in October 2012.
In the past few months, we've been busy behind the scenes:
  • Finalizing the legal documents to allow Local Motion to operate the ferry on Town of Colchester and VT Fish & Wildlife Department property
  • Finalizing the designs for the new ferry vessel and the causeway / ramp / dock improvements
  • Drafting the bid documents to put these improvements out to bid according to all State and Federal requirements
  • We expect to have the request for bids out in early February 2013
The goal has been to initiate ferry service in June 2013, but based on timelines, it might be pushed back a month or so.  We'll certainly keep you posted!  For more info, contact Brian Costello.

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