Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today announced that Montgomery County, in collaboration with Loudon County, Virginia, will study available options for resuming ferry service across the Potomac River.
Ferry operations ceased last year in the wake of a Circuit Court opinion in a longstanding legal dispute over the use of private land for the ferry’s Virginia landing site. Prior to closing, White’s Ferry transported approximately 600 to 800 vehicles per day across the river and connected bicyclists and pedestrians between the two counties.
“Restoring the operation of a Potomac River Ferry between Montgomery County and Loudoun County as soon as possible is critically important to reducing travel times to and from Virginia for many of our residents,” said County Executive Elrich.”
The joint study will evaluate White’s Ferry’s past and potential operations, as well as possible land acquisition scenarios to support re-establishing a connection on the Virginia side. The study will evaluate short- and long-term possibilities for resuming ferry service and will include consideration of economic development opportunities and operating scenarios to maximize the ferry’s public access and community benefits.
The joint study will be led by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and the Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure. The study’s scope will include:
- Roadway access and ferry use along with any other pertinent transportation issues.
- Identifying legal and regulatory requirements associated with ferry operations.
- Landing site improvements and landing location options.
- Operating alternatives that may include a public/private partnership.
“Restoring this critical transportation connection across the Potomac River is essential to our regional mobility, economy, and quality of life,” said Montgomery County District 1 Councilmember Andrew Friedson. “Regional solutions require regional collaboration and we are grateful to Loudoun County for partnering with us, along with our state and local partners, so we can return the ferry service our residents and businesses need as quickly as possible.”