Camera views of ferry lines now available online

By Terry Harris

In good news for motorists using the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, the Virginia Department of Transportation recently added new cameras to their 511 network along the route in Surry and James City counties to help visitors to the area and commuters alike better predict travel times.

The four new cameras, which show live views of traffic queues approximately one-half mile from boarding locations, were added to make travel times for would-be ferry-goers more predictable.

The local Jamestown-Scotland Ferry is one of VDOT’s first ferry systems to be shown on the VDOT 511 cameras. Installation along Route 31 began earlier this summer, and the two Surry County cameras are located at the intersection of Rolfe Highway and Pleasant Point Road.  In Jamestown, two cameras are placed on the existing digital message sign on Jamestown Road.

Although not all ferry traffic can be seen from the cameras, travelers now can see the line online in real-time from approximately one-half mile from the boarding locations, which will allow the opportunity to decide if an alternate route is needed.  

“We now have a direct way to efficiently assist ferry travelers and help them make informed decisions,” said Wes Ripley, ferry operations manager. “We transport up to 2,500 vehicles on average a day and keeping motorists moving efficiently and safely is our number one priority.” 

According to VDOT, three ferries are currently in operation and at maximum with one of the largest having a capacity of up to 70 vehicles for the approximately 20 minute trip. The free ferry operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Views from these cameras, along with ferry schedules, can be seen online at https://www.virginiadot.org/travel/ferry-jamestown.asp. Motorists are encouraged to visit www.511virginia.org, call 511, or download Virginia’s free 511 mobile app, for current traffic and travel information.