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Deal reached to keep Cave-In-Rock Ferry in operation

UPDATED: JUNE 30, 2020 7:10 p.m.

CAVE-IN-ROCK (WSIL) -- Leaders in Illinois and Kentucky have struck a deal with the Cave-in-Rock ferry to keep the service operating.

According to Sen. Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg) the deal was struck just a short time ago and all sides have agreed to the terms.

The ferry was set to make its final run around 9:40 p.m. Tuesday.

Normal services will continue on Wednesday.

ORIGINAL STORY

CAVE-IN-ROCK (WSIL) -- The Cave-In-Rock Ferry will halt service indefinitely Tuesday night, after failing to reach a contract agreement.

The ferry's two-year contract expires at 10 p.m. Tuesday, June 30.

According to a post on the ferry's Facebook page, Crittenden County, Ky. Judge-Executive Perry Newcom submitted additional options Tuesday aimed at breaking the contract stalemate. But operator Lonnie Lewis said he would not continue to operate the ferry unless he had a signed, two-year contract to assure long-term funding.

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry crosses the Ohio River between Hardin County, Illinois and Crittenden County, Kentucky.

It's jointly funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) through the Ohio River Ferry Authority.

On an average day, the ferry carries about 500 vehicles across the river.

Closure of the ferry means drivers will have to use the Shawneetown Bridge, adding more than an hour to their trip from Cave-in-Rock to Marion, Ky.

RELATED: Funding cuts could cost Cave-In-Rock its ferry

Kenzie Dillow

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