DRBA Embarks on CMLF Marine Master Plan Update

March 9, 2021

DRBA Embarks on CMLF Marine Master Plan Update

DRBA Embarks on CMLF Marine Master Plan Update


NEW CASTLE, Del. – Today, Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA) officials announced that the agency has retained Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG), LLC of Seattle, Washington, a Naval Architecture/Marine Engineering firm, to lead a team of consultants to provide planning and analysis that will lead to the eventual design concept for a new vessel for the Cape May-Lewes Ferry (CMLF).  During the initial phase, the EBDG team’s primary assignment will be to review, revise, and redevelop the Cape May – Lewes Ferry Marine Master Plan, which was produced in 2008.  The Plan will be developed in coordination with DRBA staff representatives and informed by organization and community stakeholders.  

“EBDG’s first task is to analyze the findings and results of the 2008 Marine Master Plan, conduct a thorough assessment of our existing ferry vessels, and provide an evaluation of future vessel needs,” said Heath Gehrke, Director of Ferry Operations. “When completed, this new planning document – including the conceptual design of a new vessel, will guide our future decision making process.  Our goal is to improve service and reduce operating costs while laying the foundation for sustainable ferry operations for the next generation of our customers.”

The EBDG team will also perform an analysis of various vessel characteristics, including smaller sizes, faster vessels, alternate propulsion systems and environmentally friendly considerations (alternative fuels, hybrids, etc.); as well as how proposed designs interface with existing shore side infrastructure.  The review will also provide associated costs as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the options.

The DRBA has engaged EBDG for an initial term of one (1) year to deliver the Phase 1 – Marine Master Planning services and has the option to extend the services agreement for up to three (3) additional periods of one (1) year each.  Additional phases of work may include developing final design parameters for new CMLF vessel(s); producing a detailed design package for use in soliciting competitive bids from shipyards for the construction of new CMLF vessel(s); and overseeing and managing the shipyard’s construction of the new vessel(s).

About the Delaware River and Bay Authority

The DRBA, a bi-state governmental agency created by Compact in 1962, owns and operates the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the Cape May- Lewes Ferry, and the Forts Ferry Crossing.  The DRBA also manages corporate and aviation properties through its economic development powers - two airports in New Jersey (Millville Airport and Cape May Airport) and three in Delaware (New Castle Airport, Civil Air Terminal and Delaware Airpark). All DRBA operating revenues are generated through the bridge, ferry and airport facilities.  For more information, visit www.drba.net.