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Posted on: April 21, 2021

Loudoun County Taking Steps to Restore Potomac River Ferry Service

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Loudoun County will study available options for resuming ferry service between Montgomery County, Maryland and Loudoun County. The study will include options for restoring service at White’s Ferry. Ferry service across the Potomac River is recognized as an important part of the region’s transportation network. Prior to closing, White’s Ferry transported approximately 600 to 800 vehicles per day across the river and connected bicyclists and pedestrians between the two counties.

Loudoun County will work jointly with Montgomery County to conduct the study of the White’s Ferry’s operations as well as an evaluation of land ownership and acquisition scenarios for the Virginia landing. The study will evaluate short- and long-term possibilities for resuming ferry service. 

The joint study will be led by the Loudoun County Department of Transportation and Capital Infrastructure and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation. The study’s scope will include:

  • Roadway access and ferry use along with any other pertinent transportation issues;
  • Identifying legal and regulatory requirements associated with ferry operations;
  • Landing site improvements and landing location options; and
  • Operating alternatives that may include a public/private partnership. 

White’s Ferry ceased operations on December 28, 2020, following a Circuit Court opinion in a private lawsuit over the use of private land for the ferry landing in Virginia. Since the closure, Loudoun County has been actively engaging the owners of the ferry and property on which the landing in Virginia is located to facilitate a resolution between the private parties involved. Loudoun County and Montgomery County strongly support the resolution of issues between private parties to re-establish daily ferry service as soon as possible at White’s Ferry. 

The joint study will help evaluate the long-term feasibility and reliability of Potomac River ferry service between Loudoun and Montgomery Counties and help identify alternatives for ferry operations with a common goal of re-establishing daily ferry service that benefits the greater community. 

The study is expected to begin within the next 30 days and be completed within 90 days of the start date. 

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