Historic Lynchburg Ferry To Get New Boats

LYNCHBURH – Harris County Precinct Two Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia announced today that the Commissioners Court has unanimously approved a plan for the purchase of two new boats at the Lynchburg Ferry.

“Since I took office last year, maintaining this historic service has been a priority,” said Commissioner Garcia. “I considered the history of this service, the importance to East Harris County as a transit route and as an engine of economic development.”

The court action will allow Harris County to borrow money for the purchase of the boats after the design and engineering is complete. Precinct Two funds will be used to pay off the loan.

“I have instructed my staff to assemble a design and engineering team to design ferries that will meet the unique transportation needs of Precinct Two while keeping the Lynchburg Ferry’s historical importance in perspective,” Commissioner Garcia said. “The design and construction is expected to take a minimum of 18 months.”

A preliminary estimate of $2.6-million for two new ferries has been used in discussions about this project. That figure comes from a study conducted for the county by Wilbur Smith Associates. The comprehensive study looked at every aspect of ferry operations and usage.

Commissioner Garcia also formed a Community Advisory Committee to ensure that the needs and concerns of area residents would be heard.

The two ferry boats, the Ross S. Sterling and the William P. Hobby, when built, were estimated to have a useful life of 30 years. At more than 40 years old, the two ferries are becoming increasingly more expensive to operate and maintain.