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Conn. judge rejects ferry terminal move

A ferry enters Port Jefferson Harbor after crossing

A ferry enters Port Jefferson Harbor after crossing the sound from Connecticut. (March 26, 2012) (Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan)

A Connecticut judge has sunk plans by the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson ferry to relocate its Bridgeport terminal and reduce trip times by as much as 20 minutes.

But the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company is drafting a new version of its proposal, which vice president Fred Hall said would ease passenger access to the ferry, reduce fuel costs, and still shave time from the 75-minute passage across Long Island Sound.

“Things have evolved dramatically, and we hope to resubmit in short order,” he said. “There are just a tremendous number of benefits that really make this a viable and worthwhile project.”

Judge Richard Gilardi on Monday denied the ferry company’s appeal of several decisions by the Bridgeport Planning and Zoning Commission.

Port Jefferson Mayor Margot Garant said the village would have welcomed any increased foot traffic stemming from the relocation, but added that she didn’t expect any negative consequences from the court decision.

“We’re a little disappointed, but we’re not going to lose ridership,” she said.

Hall said that his company still hopes to move the ferry terminal from its current home in downtown Bridgeport to the same proposed site, a dock across the harbor that once received shipments of bananas.

The new site, Hall said, would be more accessible from Interstate 95.

The ferry typically serves tourists on its Bridgeport to Port Jefferson route, but Hall said his company also sells roughly 100 monthly passes to commuters.

Above: A ferry enters Port Jefferson Harbor after crossing the sound from Connecticut. (March 26, 2012)

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