Kentucky Transportation and Utilities Commission Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said on Tuesday that the commission would consider expanding the ferry service in the state after receiving more than 1,500 public comments.
McMoris Rodgers said that the agency would examine the public comments and consider the suggestions.
The service would likely begin operating in 2018.
The commission’s chair said the service is already a “very popular and popular part of our community.”
“I think it’s important to keep it going, and it’s very popular in the county, too,” McMorrsons comments came after the commission voted 4-3 to approve a permit to expand the ferry system’s service in 2020.
The proposal would provide the Kentucky Ferry Authority with the option to expand to more counties by 2028.
The new ferry service will also include a new terminal and a new passenger carport at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Marine Corp. shipyard, which will open in 2020, according to the commission.
The proposed terminal would be a new container terminal for vessels.
The terminal would serve the Newport, Kentucky, area as well as the Kentucky City of Newport News and other cities.
The new carport will be used for larger vessels.
It will be open for six months, from the beginning of June through August.
It is expected to be used in the next two years.
The Newport News shipyard has been struggling financially.
The Newport News Chamber of Commerce has raised concerns about the company’s finances, and last year, the company said that it would close its Newport News plant in 2021.
The agency also voted to approve an application from the Newport Harbor Development Corp. to purchase a 2,300-acre site near the site of the Newport shipyard.
In February, the Newport Shipyard announced plans to construct a new facility that would include an 800-foot, steel-reinforced concrete pier that would connect with the existing Newport Shipbuilding complex.
McMorris Rodgers also said that she plans to conduct a study on the impact of a statewide ferry service on traffic, air quality, and water quality.
The study will look at potential changes to transportation policies and regulations.
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