New Orleans RTA breaks ground on new Canal Street ferry terminal

Written by Nick Blenkey
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RTA tweeted this photograph of groundbreaking ceremony

A two-year development program that will see New Orleans’ current Canal Street ferry terminal replaced by a modern ADA compliant facility has kicked off with a groundbreaking ceremony at the present terminal.

Once completed, the new terminal will create a seamless riverfront connecting Audubon Aquarium to Spanish Plaza. Construction is anticipated to be completed by summer 2022 with no major impacts to current ferry and transit services expected.

“A project of this magnitude can only be successful with collaboration and a shared vision with the community and civic leaders,” said Flozell Daniels, Jr., Chair, RTA Board of Commissioners. “The RTA Board proudly makes this investment in the new ferry terminal because it will activate the riverfront to improve safety and access for our residents and visitors, drive job creation and small business expansion, and improve the public transit experience for all ferry riders.”


The Canal Street ferry terminal project has a total budget of $43.5 million and is funded by contributions from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Regional Transit Authority (RTA), City of New Orleans, and the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LADOTD). The FTA’s 2015 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program provided $12 million for the ferry terminal redevelopment accompanied by an additional $12 million in other Federal Transit Administration funding sources. The State of Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development provided the local funding match in the amount of $2 million. Additional funding of approximately of $12 million is provided through matches from the City of New Orleans and Regional Transit Authority in addition to a $5 million land match.

The project will focus on opening the riverfront and re-envisioning the connectivity between all transit modes to provide safe, reliable connections for riders. With the current terminal beyond its useful life and there no longer being a need for vehicle access on the ferry, the agency has focused on designing a terminal geared towards passenger needs while accommodating the new RTA ferry vessels, RTA1 and RTA2. The new ferry terminal and pedestrian bridge will focus on providing better and safer accessibility to riders with limited mobility. The improved facility design will provide access to the terminal from above the railroad and streetcar tracks which run along the riverfront.

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