RYER ISLAND — It might sound like a familiar announcement: The Real McCoy II ferry on Highway 84, north of Rio Vista, will be closed Thursday night for routine, preventive maintenance.
The state Department of Transportation previously said the ferry would be closed for maintenance Nov. 14 and again Dec. 5. The $4.3 million Real McCoy II ferry is two years old.
But Caltrans spokesman Vince Jacala said the ferry didn’t actually close Dec. 5. Two ferries serve Ryer Island, the Real McCoy II and the J-Mack. The J-Mack went down for emergency repairs after the cable that guides it across Steamboat Slough snapped.
“We can’t have both ferries closed at the same time,” Jacala said.
Jacala said it might seem like the Real McCoy II closes fairly often for maintenance, but offered a different perspective. The ferry runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Jacala compared this to the maintenance someone would have to do on a car running that often.
“If it’s out a lot, it’s because it’s in service a lot,” Jacala said.
The maintenance to be performed Thursday is an oil change, Jacala said. The ferry will be closed from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.
“We don’t want to inconvenience people, so we try to make it late at night, when it’s not busy,” Jacala said. “We’re not going to do it in the middle of the day.”
The Real McCoy II crosses Cache Slough to and from Ryer Island every 20 minutes. Rural Ryer Island is in eastern Solano County and is a farming area in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The ferry is part of the state highway system and crossings are free.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.