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Canby Ferry returns to service on Willamette


On Tuesday morning, July 16, the Canby Ferry was towed through Willamette Falls Locks, which are technically closed but were specially opened just for the transit of the ferry that needed major repair.

The Canby Ferry, which has been out of service for major maintenance the past few months, went back through the locks between 8 and 8:30 a.m.

by: PHOTO BY: JOSH KULLA - The Canby Ferry is towed through Willamette Falls Locks, which are technically closed but were specially opened for the ferry's major repairs completed in Portland.Major maintenance work on the ferry that began in January and had to be done in a dry dock in Portland. The work installed new motors, sandblasted, painted the entire boat and replaced the current hydraulic propulsion system with an electric propulsion system. Structural work relates to balancing the boat, ventilation and other features.

The repairs cost $1.4 million, paid for with a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to retrofit the ferry’s propulsion system to reduce electricity usage, eliminate the potential of an environmentally-damaging oil spill, and ensure continued safe and reliable transportation.

The M.J. Lee II was first commissioned on June 20, 1997. Since that time, records show it has transported over a million vehicles and made more than 300,000 round trips across the river.

When the ferry returned to service on July 19, it had a quieter, more environmentally friendly propulsion system and additional deck space for pedestrians and bicyclists, which can cross for $2 each. One-way trips for cars and pickups are $4.

The Canby Ferry normally crosses the Willamette River between Canby and Wilsonville seven days a week except on major holidays and when the water level rises to 70 feet or higher. More information about the ferry is at clackamas.us/roads/ferry.html.