Jeffboat to close Ohio River shipyard next month

Barge and towboat manufacturer Jeffboat will be shutting down its Ohio River shipyard this spring, ending ship-building operations at the site that stretch back more than 180 years.

Jeffboat's parent company announced closure plans Monday for the Jeffersonville shipyard. American Commercial Lines cited an oversupply of barges and said its orders have dropped significantly over the past three years.

The company said Jeffboat's workforce has shrunk from about 1,300 workers in recent years to its current 220 employees. The shipyard is expected to complete barge construction by the end of April. It

Workers who are members of Teamster Local 89 were told about the closure plans Friday.

Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said he expects another boat builder will take over the shipyard. He said the site, which has about 65 acres of riverfront property, couldn't be used for much else.

Jeffcoat told the state in February that it planned to terminate 226 workers at the shipyard from Feb. 5 to April 2, but it said it didn't plan to close the facility. That announcement followed one in February, in which the company said it planned to terminate 278 employees over the next five months.

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