A new solar-powered ferry will be added to the Daintree crossing fleet
Crossing the Daintree will soon be a lot quicker when a second vehicle ferry is introduced to ease traffic congestion.
A hybrid solar-powered ferry with a 36-vehicle capacity is a planned addition after it was announced yesterday that local company, Sirron Enterprises Pty Ltd had been awarded the Daintree Ferry tender. The contractors have operated the ferry crossing since 2006.
Douglas Shire Council Mayor Julia Leu said the winning contractors were enthusiastic about introducing a second ferry and fixing congestion issues at the crossing.
“This is an exciting moment for residents who frequently use the crossing and future visitors to the Daintree Coast,” she said.
The proposed ferry, which would operate on solar power a majority of the time, would operate in the main channel, while the current 27-vehicle ferry would operate downstream in a second channel to alleviate traffic congestion during peak tourist season.
Currently, during the peak season traffic can back up causing hours’ worth of delays.
“The most important aspect of this contract is there is a proposed solution to reduce wait times and queues in peak tourist season,” Mayor Leu said.
“It is great to see a local company put a strong case forward in a competitive field; in particular this contractor who has a strong track record having provided a reliable service for more than a decade.
“Council is excited to continue improving the iconic Daintree River crossing with our contractors, who have committed to rolling out online ticketing, camera technology, a dedicated website and alleviating peak season queueing issues through a two-ferry solution,” she said.
Council will release a tender for the design of new roads, barge ramps, pylons and a second river channel in the coming weeks before it submits plans to the State Government for approval.
In preparation for the new service in 2021, Council has allocated $250,000 from the Daintree River Ferry Reserve towards these infrastructure upgrades.
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