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February 2019: J-Mac Ferry cable was broken from all the floating
trees sent down Steamboat Slough, probably part of the "restoration"
project ongoing on Steamboat Slough. In the meantime the Rio Vista
Ferry broke down ... again. It is supposed to be running by Feb
Photos will be posted.
click to enlarge Sept 2018 Caltrans notice
|CALTRANS Updates for
For 2013 and earlier CalTrans notices, go to the previous ferry & CALTRANS updates
|Rio Vista Ferry & CalTrans
DELTA FERRY HISTORY
We suggest you print out our North Delta Map: Delta Map
|May 2018||Caltrans sent notice of work on the Rio Vista Bridge that will make
it one lane every night ... for the next several years! It takes
years to paint a bridge?
All persons in recreational vehicles traveling to Ryer Island and Snug Harbor need to use the Miner's Slough bridge at the north end of Ryer Island. Do NOT try to use the ferry to get to Ryer Island! Your RV bumper will be damaged due to the design of the new ferry, or else you will get stuck at the ferry ramp. Just plan to drive up Highway 80 to West Sacramento, then take Jefferson BLVD, (State Route 84) to come down to Ryer Island. That way you avoid the backed up traffic in Rio Vista on Highway 12 due to slow moving across the bridge. Click on the graphic below to see the notice from CalTrans ...
|May 2017||As of 5-18-17 both ferrys are running again. However, We advise all visitors with RVs to plan to use the bridge route to Ryer Island and Snug Harbor. When on the road, you might want to look at http://DeltaCalifornia.com which has been revised to show static maps of the roads of the Delta, as online mapping software and in-car GPS get very confused in the Delta and tent to send travelers the long way around or to the entirely wrong city. You can also go to http://dot.ca.gov and go to the "quickmap" and click on the options for showing if roads are closed or if there is slowed traffic. You can even click on the option to see the CalTrans highway cams. Look for the Hwy 12 cam near Isleton if you want to see local Delta weather! Map and directions to Snug Harbor when on the road: http://deltacalifornia.com/delta-maps/snug-harbor-ryer-island-delta-ferrys/ or http://www.snugharbor.net/images-2013/maps/directionstosnugharbor1.jpg|
|January 2017||1-12-17 BOTH ferries are not running, because there is to much floating debris in the rivers. The flows are high too. In 2006 the old Rio Vista Ferry did not have a problem with running during even higher flows. One of the differences this time may be the fact Prospect Island has been flooded for "restoration" and that may have added more logs and trees into Cache Slough, or the hydraulic pattern many have changed in an unexpected way. In any case, both ferries are down so you need to use the Miner Slough bridge to get to Ryer Island and Snug Harbor.|
|Summer 2016||Real McCoy Ferry II has been having hydraulics issues and has sometimes been down for a few days at a time. It is important if you plan to use that ferry to call and confirm with CalTrans, or else email firstname.lastname@example.org to request confirmation if ferry is running ... or not. Note that only CalTrans can provide the most up-to-date information on this ferry.|
|May 2016||Both ferrys seem to be running on their schedules. EXCEPT that one night in late April, around 10 PM, CalTrans closed both ferrys, and people trying to come to Ryer Island were not allowed to use the bridge. People waited at the bridge until 2:00 am as two guys in "CalTrans clothing" blocked bridge use. Once people could cross the bridge again, it was clear there was no road work being done. We have filed a Freedom Of Information Act to request the purpose of the closure, and to ask for advance notice of such apparently planned closures. Update: CalTrans says it was not CalTrans who was blocking access to Miner's Slough bridge for up to 4 hours in the middle of the night. Issue has been escalated to county security officials as it is illegal for persons to impersonate CalTrans employees and block traffic.|
|February 2016||Real McCoy II ferry was down for more than 2 months. It
started running again on 2/9/2016 and broke again by 2/10/2016.
As of Feb 19 it is running again. Who ever designed and approved this ferry should be REALLY ashaimed of themselves! It breaks down so much!
|Rio Vista/Real McCoy II ferry continues to break down whenever so we've been given notice by CalTrans that the ferry will not be working until sometime in Februar 2016. J-Mac Ferry is running though. There was a meeting in Rio Vista on 11/18 about proposed Miner's Slough bridge replacement but you would think CalTrans would FIRST show that there is actually a working ferry for the Rio Vista to Ryer Island connection. The bridge plans say the access road on SR 84 will be a one way road...for THREE years starting in 2018! They need three years and up to $27 million to rehab an existing small bridge or build a new one? They can build the Golden Gate Bridge in 4 years, the first and second Bay Bridges in 3 years and they need 3 years for a 130 foot bridge across Miner's Slough? Right. What is really happening is that there will be some sort of conveyance construction or manjor fracking in the area and CalTrans is trying to discourage locals from seeing what is going on. Modus operandi for CalTrans.|
|October 2015||Currently both ferrys to Ryer Island are running. Please remember that anyone coming to Snug Harbor in a motorhome, pull trailer or 5th wheel needs to use the BRIDGE route to Ryer Island-State Route 84 from Sacramento-or Jefferson Blvd to Courtland Road to Ryer Road to the Miner's Slough bridge onto Ryer Island. CalTrans sent out notice of "bridge painting work" on 3 Mile Slough bridge at State Route 160 so traffic will be alternating one-way for an indeterminant amout of time. Note it is in the area where USBR proposed a gate and fish barrier across 3 Mile Slough as well. You might want to plan to avoid SR 160 from the Antioch Bridge to Highway 12, if at all possible for the next few weeks.|
|August 2015||CalTrans decided to shut down the Real McCoy Ferry basically for the month of August. Call them for details. No question about it, CalTrans is doing their ultimate best to discourage vacation travel in the Delta, so people won't notice all the fracking trucks and water conveyance construction activities going on.|
|June-July 2015||CalTrans is doing all sorts of projects in the Delta along Highway
12 between Highway 5 and the Mokelumne River bridge....slowly.
CalTrans has been blocking traffic or slowing it down for several
months. We suggest you AVOID using Hwy 12 between Highway 5 and
the Mokelumne River Bridge.
Easy route to Snug Harbor: For people in RVs coming to Snug Harbor, plan to use State Route 84 (Jefferson Blvd) to Courtland Road on the WEST side of the Sacramento River, then follow Courtland Road to Ryer Road, and cross the bridge onto Ryer Island. Turn LEFT to go to Snug Harbor. Don't count on your phone or GPS in the Delta region. Currently Google maps confuse the location of the Sacramento River and San Joaquin River so if they can't get the river names right you can bet the road names will most likely be wrong. Add to that CalTrans taking down the large route crossings and bridge names....
One bit of good news is that the J-Mac Ferry is up and running again so it is quicker to get to Walnut Grove for shoping and restaurants again.
|May 2015||CalTrans sent around notice that a new paving job will start on Hwy 12 west of Hwy 5 to the Mokelumne River Bridge, causing slower traffic as there will be 1-way escorted lanes. In typical fashon for CalTrans, they picked the busy recreation season to do work that could have been done in winter when they had blocked off traffic for the changes to Mokelumne River bridge. In any case, we suggest you use the Walnut Grove/Thorton exit instead of Hwy 12 if coming up Hwy 5. To see and print out alternate routes for travel in the North Delta go to maps page. When on the road http://www.dot.ca.gov has a quick reference map that shows you the locations where there is work or a closed road or slowed traffic.|
|April 2015||CalTrans timed the "repairs" of the J-Mac Ferry for this spring, and
the ferry should be back in operation before
4th of July week end.
CalTrans has given no reason for the extension of the repairs on the
For Snug Harbor customers, the Rio Vista Fery over to Ryer Island runs every 20 minutes but it will NOT take RVs unless very small. Trucks pulling boat trailrs are OK but only if you have a bar on your boat trailer protecting your boat propeller as the ferry landing is steep at low tides. For people coming to Snug Harbor in and RV, please plan to use the BRIDGE route to Ryer Island. It is not worth risking your RV bumper to get on the ferry, so plan to
drive down to use using Jefferson Blvd in West Sacramento, or else from 160/12 area follow the Delta Map
directions that you should print out now, since your phone gps may take you around the wrong way.
15-03-44SJ12 Hwy 12 One-way traffic control.pdf
|Feb 23-May 1 2015||J-Mac Ferry (ie the reliable one) is scheduled to be taken out of service for several months according to CalTrans. In addition CalTrans plans to close HWY 12 at the Mokelumne River bridge several times over the next 6 months, depending on different factors. They say "local" or residential traffic will be allowed through, but no one will be able to cross the bridge when repairs are being done. Please call CalTrans above or go to the CalTrans "QuickMap" which usually shows the latest blockages of traffic. We suggest you plan to use the BRIDGE ROUTE TO RYER ISLAND when coming to visit us. In your GPS put in that you are starting at West Sacramento, Jefferson Blvd and then put in Snug Harbor Drive, Walnut Grove, CA 95690 and you should be given the most direct directions to Ryer Island, then down to us here at Snug Harbor.|
|10/15/2014||The J-Mac Ferry across Steamboat Slough, connecting Grand Island and Ryer Island as State Route 220 continues to be reliable. The Real McCoy II Ferry between Rio Vista and Ryer Island has been much better this year but still sometimes has mechanical failures. For this reason, we suggest you call the ferry number to see if there are any delays, and if traveling in an RV, just plan to come to Snug Harbor via the bridge route, using the "Miner's Slough Bridge" to get to Ryer Island, which is at the north end of the island.|
|5/21/14||Miner's Slough bridge is open as of May 21, 2014, despite what the CalTrans map shows that CalTrans has been distributing. All families traveling in an RV to visit Snug Harbor should use the Miners Slough bridge to get onto Ryer Island, and then turn LEFT to come down to Snug Harbor Drive, about 7.5 miles along the levee road.|
|4/12/14||CalTrans has been distributing the map "Vince" showed me on 4/9 when
he visited SHR. I explained to him the problems
caused by the map, as it indicates the bridge is already closed. I asked that specific dates of closure be put on the face
of the map but that request was declined and the notice was sent out by CalTrans, misleading map included. On 4/11
we received an email from Vince of CalTrans which says the bridge closure dates are May 12 to 21, 20014. However,
the map still being distributed as of 4/13 by CalTrans ferry personell as of (who have not been notified of the actual closure
dates per the CALTRANS pr person) continues to confuse the issue of access to Miner's Slough bridge. I have been
receiving MANY phone calls on this issue. I have not posted the "closed bridge" map BECAUSE it is misleading
and the customers currently staying here in the park for a week or two thought they had to leave by midnight 4/13
because the bridge would be closed thereafter. I have contacted CALTRANS several times to confirm what the
customers have been told (i.e. bridge closed from mid-April for 60 days) is incorrect. Still waiting for a response
from CALTRANS PR staff on this ongoing issue.
|4/10/14||Please click on the graphics below to read the email notice from
CalTrans and the response questions already asked:
|3/2/2014||Rio Vista ferry was broken or sporatically working here and there during the month of February 2014. One very nice CalTrans engineer explained that it has to do with how the ferry was built and the fact the company that built the ferry provided faulty hydraulic equipment. He said when they "dry dock" the ferry they will also fix the "v" added into the deck of the ferry, which makes it hard for RV's and large farming trucks pulling trailers to use the ferry. So who authorized the ferry to be designed to NOT be able to handle at least 50% of the traffic that was usual for this area of the Delta? CalTrans says it was designed by a marine engineer.|
|2/12/14||Today there is a
public meeting regarding the BDCP which is supposed to give people
in this area of California the opportunity to give public comment on the
plan, and ask questions or express concerns. Meeting is in
Clarksburg from 3-6 pm. The problem is that CalTrans decided today
is a good day to do center divider repairs on Hwy 12 between Rio Vista
and Fairfield, which caused major traffic backup for anyone trying to
get to the Delta from Fairfield, Napa, Vallejo, etc. In any case,
the Rio Vista Ferry (also called Cache Slough Ferry and Ryer Island
Ferry) is still broken and not running so it is a LONG drive to get to
Clarksburg. CalTrans also gave notice last week that Hwy 160
between Antioch and Hwy 12 will have blockage or slow traffic due to
work being done for the next two months on the 3 Mile Slough bridge.
That discourages anyone from the Antioch, Pittsburg, Byron, Discovery
Bay area from attending as it will take a long time to get to Clarksburg
due to travel delays. Oh yes. Caltrans gave notice that
there is work to do on Hwy 12 around the Tower Park area, so expect
travel delays if you get off Hwy 5 and want to use 12. I suggest
you instead skip Hwy 12 entirely and use the Thorton/Walnut Grove exit
and get to Clarksburg by driving through Walnut Grove and up 160 to
Clarksburg-cross the Sacramento River either in Walnut Grove or use the
Pairntersville bridge just below Courtland.
Or for anyone in the Fairfield area, perhaps it will save time and frustration if you go up 80 to Jefferson Blvd and drive down SR 84 then turn left when you see the Clarksburg signs.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Clarksburg Middle School
52870 Netherlands Rd, Clarksburg, CA 95612
|February 4, 2014||CALTRANS sent out notice about the closure of State Highway 160 between Antioch to the junction of 12 & 160 near the Rio Vista bridge. Closed at night for 2 months! One lane limited traffic during the day. CalTrans provides a link to a map that indicates Highway 160 is where 84 used to be. And the ferry is still broken anyway, so if you plan to come out to visit Snug Harbor, you might want to call the CalTrans number to get verification of what is open when and where. 510-622-0120. Ironically, the original Rio Vista Ferry or "Real McCoy 1" is sitting idle on the Sacramento River below Ryde.|
|Jan 2014||CalTrans is planning lots of work in the Delta since the weather is
very nice for this time of year. What is concerning is that
several roads into the North Delta could be closed for many days all at
the same time. That can make it hard for visitors, especially from
the Contra Costs, Concord, Hayward, San Ramon and Pleasenton areas to to
visit us, unless they plan to take longer routes around either by 580 to
5 to 12, or 680 to 80 to 12.
|2013||ferry & CALTRANS updates|