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Thoma-Sea to build two new ferry boats for Louisiana’s Cameron crossing

Ferries are being built by Thoma-Sea to an Elliott Bay Design Group design

Posted on October 11, 2022

The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) has announced the Thoma-Sea Marine Constructors, LLC of Houma is the apparent low bidder for the construction of two new ferry boats for the Cameron crossing in Cameron Parish. Thoma-Sea’s bid was $49,706,865.

Designed by Elliott Bay Design Group, the boats will be equipped with a hybrid propulsion system allowing the ferry to operate in a hybrid mode, resulting in lower exhaust emissions.

The new boats will measure 190 x 50 x 13 feet and will replace the M/V Cameron II, which was built in 1964. The boats will be end-loading vessels in order to load and unload large commercial vehicles. Two boats will be built so that ferry service will continue uninterrupted when one vessel undergoes required dry docking as per U.S. Coast Guard regulations.

In the past when M/V Cameron II was in dry dock, a temporary side-loading ferry was put into service. This allowed passenger vehicles to cross, but trucks longer than about 50 feet were unable to use the ferry and had to detour approximately 100 miles around the Calcasieu Ship Channel. The two new boats will allow ferry service of commercial vehicles to continue uninterrupted.

Construction of the two new ferries at Thoma Sea is expected to begin early next year with an estimated completion in mid-2025.

The Cameron ferry averaged 153,500 vehicles and 480 passengers per year between fiscal year 2018 and fiscal year 202


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