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Anderson Ferry seeing swell in passengers avoiding Brent Spence traffic mess

200-year-old ferry helps with today's traffic woes
Posted at 6:17 PM, Nov 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-13 21:23:23-05

HEBRON, Ky. — As crews continue to inspect the Brent Spence Bridge after its sudden crash-induced closure Wednesday morning, some commuters are bypassing the traffic delays by hitching a ride on one of the region's oldest means of conveyance.

The Anderson Ferry first began crossing the Ohio River between Hebron, Kentucky, and Cincinnati's Riverside neighborhood more than 200 years ago. Today, it's providing an alternative to nasty traffic snarls plaguing Northern Kentucky highways and urban surface streets while the heavily-traveled bridge remains closed indefinitely.

Friday was the third full day in which commuters were forced to adapt their typical routes.

"I didn't want to waste my gas. Plus, it's fun for the kids to get on," said Josh Mossman, who rode the ferry Friday. A Sayler Park resident, getting to the ferry's Ohio-side put-in was a welcome alternate when he needed to get his daughter to Erlanger, Kentucky, to have a cast removed.

"It's easier to get down to where I live, and if I take the highway, it takes twice as long," he said.

That's not to say there's no line to wait while the Brent Spence Bridge remains closed to all traffic. Vehicles stretched up the hill from the water on both sides of the river Friday afternoon.

Anderson Ferry Capt. Brenna Karst said they've been seeing more and more delivery trucks opting to wait for a ride on the ferry than sit in stand-still traffic on the road.

"We've been seeing more Amazon trucks and FedEx and stuff like that," she said.

FedEx driver Danny Sparks said the ferry saved him nearly an hour detour that he was facing due to the highway closure.

"It saves me about a 40-minute drive when I have to go all the way around and through Indiana and then come back in River Road," he said. "Some of the customers need their stuff at a certain time, and they get a little upset. And all I can do is apologize."