What's with the overhead walkway across Tchoupitoulas Street at Jackson Avenue? It seems to connect to a deserted circular building on one end. I pass it all the time and try to imagine its story.
That overhead walkway leads to and from a structure that once welcomed thousands of passengers who traveled across the Mississippi River to and from Gretna and Uptown New Orleans on the Jackson Avenue ferry.
The ferry landing near Jackson Avenue and Tchoupitoulas Street was built in 1980 at a cost of $1.5 million. It went dormant in 2009, when ferry service was shifted to Canal Street. Dwindling ridership was the stated reason for the change. According to Crescent City Connection statistics reported in The Times-Picayune, the Gretna-Jackson Avenue ferry carried 104,000 passengers from May 1, 2008, to April 30, 2009. That was almost 20 times less than the Algiers-Canal Street ferry's 1.4 million riders.
The Jackson Avenue terminal (and the pedestrian walkway across Tchoupitoulas Street) sat dormant for years. In 2013, the state tried to find a buyer for the terminal. The asking price was $1.65 million. According to the newspaper, there were no buyers, and in February 2016, Gov. John Bel Edwards transferred control of the property to the Port of New Orleans. The port has no stated plans for the property, but had been interested in it for some time because of its proximity to the First Street Wharf and other cargo handling areas.