Canby Ferry open house on horizon
Clackamas County plans to hold an open house on Wednesday, June 13, to discuss its feasibility study for potential alternatives to the Canby Ferry. The open house will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Willamette Room at the Canby Public Library.
The cost to the county of the ferry across the Willamette River between Canby and Wilsonville is higher than the revenue from the $5 charge passengers pay for a one-way trip.
In addition, the ferry works only during the day and can't work if the river level is above 70 feet or during inclement weather. And it has room for only six cars each way.
The current study is determining the financial feasibility of six alternatives to cross the river at the same ferry location.
These include continuing service on the ferry; discontinuing service on the ferry; building a non-toll bridge and keeping the ferry going; building a bridge without a toll and or the ferry; building the toll bridge and continuing the ferry; and building a toll bridge and eliminating the ferry.
Among the factors under consideration are costs. These include costs for future operations, maintenance and capital for the ferry. Costs if ferry operations are discontinued. They also will look at the costs for development, construction and maintenance of a bridge. In addition, study officials will consider both the low and high figures for cost and environmental impacts.
They also will look at toll operating costs for manual, transponder and optical character recognition as well as facility requirements and associated costs and information system requirements, staff/vendors and annual operating and administrative costs. They also will study roadway improvements to accommodate increases in traffic and estimate costs for the improvements.
Other considerations include total annual costs. These will cover an estimate for future costs of operating and maintaining the ferry, capital rehabilitation and replacement.
The study also will look at a 30-year bonding cost analysis incorporating all capital improvement costs for the bridge and associated facilities including annual debt service, financing costs, annual contribution to capital reserves and increased costs for roadway operations and maintenance.
An important part of the study is detailed traffic modeling and cost estimates for each options. It's also considering related work for roadways if it determines a bridge is needed. The county plans to hold a second public meeting in October to share study findings with the community.
Experts from financial, engineering, planning and traffic will study the various factors for each of the alternatives. These officials also will inform local residents and gather input from them for an October meeting to share results of the analysis.
If the results indicate the need for a bridge, construction wouldn't take place until a few years of outreach, planning or design.
Project manager Stephen Williams, who is also the county's transportation planner, says there haven't been any decisions at this point. Once the study is complete, the County Commissioners will review the results and discuss them further. No action will be taken without additional public input.