The Texas Department of Transportation is continuously upgrading its ferry service in Port Aransas.
In the past few years TxDOT has brought in three $10 million ferry boats to help with the traffic.
Now they have opened a new stacking lane facility that's changing how people have used the ferry for decades.
The new facility in Port Aransas is a major feature of a $9 million TxDOT project to improve ferry landings.
“The goal of this project, this $9 million improvement project that adds the stacking lanes and other improvements, is to make sure to keep pace with the traffic we are seeing and to provide an efficient safe way for local residents and visitors to get to and from Port Aransas,” said TxDOT Public Information Officer Rickey Dailey.
Access to the new stacking lanes area will be from northbound State Highway 361 only. Motorists will have a protected left turn to Port Street and then take an immediate right into the stacking lanes. Traffic directors will direct motorists to the proper waiting lane.
“That is exactly what this project is designed to alleviate and ease some of that congestion that we were seeing on the streets of Port Aransas," Dailey said. "We want to move it into a dedicated area so the cars can wait there to board the ferries."
On a yearly basis the ferries carry more than 2 million vehicles and operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide service.
“It is an advancement in the transportation facility at the ferry landing because it dedicates an area for vehicles to wait for the ferry," Dailey said. "This $9 million investment by TxDOT and our transportation system in Port Aransas is another step we are taking to improve service for the people of Texas."
While some work remains on the overall project, the stacking lanes here in Port Aransas will result in significant changes to help with the ferry traffic flow.
There will be no access to the ferries from Cotter Avenue and there will be no access to the stacking lanes from southbound SH 361, Avenue A or Port Street. Traffic exiting the ferries will continue to travel to the SH 361/Cotter intersection.