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Canby Ferry back in service mid-July


The Canby Ferry, which has been undergoing major maintenance for the past few months, is expected to return to service in mid-July.

When it does, it will have a quieter, more environmentally friendly propulsion system and additional deck space for pedestrians and bicyclists.

The ferry normally crosses the Willamette River between Canby and Wilsonville seven days a week except on major holidays and when the water level rises to 70 feet or higher.

However, in January the ferry was towed through the Willamette Falls Locks to be taken to Portland for a retrofit of its propulsion system and related upgrades.

The work on the ferry is anticipated to be completed by the end of June, and the county has worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to allow the ferry to be towed back through the Willamette Falls Locks on July 2.

Once the ferry returns to its home port in Canby, there will still be several days of work needed to prepare it for service. Clackamas County bridge maintenance supervisor Darrel Burnum says the tentative plan is to return the ferry to service on July 15, but he cautions that the date could change.

The work is being paid for by a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to retrofit the propulsion system in order to reduce electricity usage, eliminate the potential of an environmentally-damaging oil spill and ensure continued safe and reliable transportation.

Specific tasks include installing new motors, sandblasting and painting the entire boat, replacing the current hydraulic propulsion system with an electric propulsion system, structural upgrades related to balancing the boat, ventilation and other features and replacing some steel hull plating.

More information can be found online at Clackamas.us/roads/ferry.html.