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General Project Information

Project Location

The Project is located on State Route (SR) 84 at Post Mile (PM) 2.49 in Solano County, California. The Real McCoy Ferry provides service across Cache Slough between Ryer Island and Rio Vista.

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Project Location

Purpose and Need


The purpose of the Project is to restore the structural integrity of the Cache Slough fender systems and improve ferry boat accessibility and reliability across the slough.


A Scope Summary Report prepared for the Bridge Maintenance Project in 2015 found the fender systems to be in poor condition due to their deterioration, with many elements in need of replacement. A 2019 Bridge Inspection Report found that the end piles of the fender system in Rio Vista are damaged and splitting (Photo 1), and the southwest fender system has missing sheathing members as well as splitting end piles. The fender systems on Ryer Island (Photo 2) have vertical sheathing members missing and the horizontal members are split and broken.

In addition the ferry boat is not accessible by larger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 80,000 pounds, such as emergency vehicles, commercial trucks, and recreational vehicles, because they exceed the weight capacity of the ferry boat and concrete ramps. 

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Photo 1: Damaged End Piles of the Fender System in Rio Vista

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Photo 2: Existing Fender System on Ryer Island

Project Description

Caltrans proposes to replace the fender systems and ramps at the Real McCoy Ferry. The Project would restore the structural integrity of the fender system and upgrade the boat ramps and ferry deck to improve boat accessibility across Cache Slough on SR 84.

There is one Build Alternative for the Project.


Caltrans would replace the timber fender systems with new steel pile fender systems that would be 8 feet wider than the existing systems, creating more space for the ferry to navigate to the ramps. In addition, the front side of the fender panels would be covered in rubber facing materials, which would allow for a smoother transition when impacted by the ferry.

Caltrans would replace the existing concrete ramps with new concrete approach slab ramps. This would increase the ramps' weight capacity, allowing them to accommodate commercial truck, recreational vehicles, and emergency vehicles, to better meet the needs of Ryer Island's residents and visitors.

Caltrans would also modify the ferry boat deck surface by extending it 8 feet on both ends and leveling up the surface kinks near both ends to help vehicles enter and exit the ferry more easily. Finally the Project would install a monitoring station system within Caltrans' right of way that includes a vehicle detection/census station controller in Rio Vista.

There is also a No-Build Alternative for the Project.


Under the No-Build Alternative, there would be no improvements to the existing Real McCoy Ferry, fender system, and ramps. The end piles of the fender system would continue to deteriorate. The vertical sheathing members of the fender system would remain missing, and its horizontal members would remain split and broken. The Boat deck surface would not be extended, and the ramps would not be replaced to accommodate larger vehicles. As a result, large vehicles such as emergency vehicles would continue to lack access across Cache Slough, delaying emergency service operations when needed. This alternative does not meet the purpose and need for the Project.

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