WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Mercer County Group Gets Ferry Study Grant

New Boston, IL – A bi-state group is working to re-establish ferry service between New Boston, Illinois and Oakville, Iowa. Terry Elliot chairs the Illowa Ferryboat and Development Corporation. He says the group has $360,000 in federal and state grants to begin studies. He says engineering and environmental studies could be underway within the year. Elliot says ferry service began at New Boston before the Civil War. The last ferry made its run in 1973. He says a feasibility study done three years ago showe re-establishing the service would boost tourism and business. Currently, Elliot says the western portion of Mercer County has few stores of any kind. He says the ferry would be the only crossing of the Mississippi River between Burlington and Muscatine.