Woodland Ferry and Blades Bridge Reopen in Sussex County
SUSSEX COUNTY, Del.- If you live in Sussex County, your travel time could be cut in half. That's because the Woodland Ferry and Blades Bridge are back up and running.
The Woodland Ferry in western Sussex County is back open after being closed for months. For the past couple of months, drivers would have to take alternate routes to get over to Blades Delaware. Back in May, the Delaware Department of Transportation said it would remain closed for the duration of the summer.
In western Sussex, four major bridges have closed in the Blades, Seaford, Bethel and Laurel areas. The Front Street Bridge that connects Seaford and Blades is now reopened.
Destiny Banks is a pharmacist technician who fills patients scripts all day at the Seaford Pharmacy. She says her business struggled to get medicine out on time, due to the closures.
"It stopped a lot of our deliveries, it made the delivery times go farther for our patients and people that actually needed the medicine they were not able to get it right away due to the detours" explains Banks.
The Seaford Pharmacy is a place a lot of people depend on for their medications. Destiny Banks said she only has two delivery drivers. So when the ferry was closed, it caused longer delivery times. Banks is excited about Blades Bridge and the Woodland Ferry opening for people to get their pills pronto.
"So they can save money, get here faster and avoid any hassle" mentions Banks.
Jason McCluskey, a maintenance engineer with the Delaware Department of Transportation, says nearly 225 vehicles use the ferry on a typical summer's day, with more than 45,000 trips per year. McCluskey hopes to keep this way of transportation open for the community for the next five years.
"We have done everything we can to ensure that we won't have to close the boat for any service or for any unforeseen repairs" explains McCluskey.
After nine months, the owner of Every Fiber Coffee says business should be picking up with the ferry opening. The ferry can bring people across the Nanticoke River to get their caffeine a little easier.
"I am really excited I got a phone call yesterday that they were pulling the barricades up" mentions Allan Cranston, owner of Every Fiber Coffee.
Allan Cranston opened Every Fiber Coffee two weeks before the shutdown. He lost 50 percent of his customers, due to the closure. He is excited to see familiar faces coming into his shop's doors.
"I am looking forward to our regulars getting back and with the bridge being closed it would take an extra 20 or 30 minutes to get around town" says Cranston.
As Destiny Banks stocks the shelves, she is glad to get people their medicine on time in Seaford.
DelDOT says the Woodland Ferry is set to be worked on in five years to replace the engine.