Fight to Save The Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry

The Glastonbury-Rocky Hill Ferry has been running people and cars across the Connecticut River for more than 350 years and closing it is part of Gov. Dannel Malloy's Plan B budget.

The Glastonbury-Rocky Hill ferry is the oldest running ferry in the country, dating back to at least 1655.

Town leaders and historians don't want to see the ferry service come to an end, and a standing-room only crowd met on Monday night to brainstorm ways to save the ferry.

There is hope that state union workers will ratify the new concessions deal reached last week and that will save the ferry service, but ratification isn't a guarantee. 

State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan organized the discussion at the Welles-Turner Memorial Library in Glastonbury.
"Even at the end, the governor has told us that even after the concessions, a lot of things will still have to be cut," Srinivasan said.

He said the ferry has been on the chopping block in troubled economic times before and he wants the community to find a permanent way to keep it off the table.

The boat launches on both sides of the Connecticut River were deemed a National Historic district several years ago and the thought was that the designation would offer more protection, but Malloy recommended closure anyway.

It's a recommendation that doesn't make sense to m Bennet, director of the Historical Society of Glastonbury.

"It's somewhat like a bridge, like the Arrigoni, the Bulkeley Bridge, the Founders Bridge, and it's the only one that actually brings money into the state. All these other ones are cost-centered.Ferries are bringing people across. They are encouraging commerce. They're getting people to work in the morning," Bennet said.

The Lyme board of selectmen has filed a lawsuit against the state to keep the state's other ferry service, the Chester-Hadlyme ferry, operational.

At Monday's meeting, town leaders from both Rocky Hill and Glastonbury said they are considering joining that lawsuit to keep the Glastonbury-Rocky Hill service running as well.


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