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Work progresses on Lynchburg Ferry re-opening

Ferry awaits pathways and ramps
Locals are hopeful of an early completion of the Lynchburg Ferry before April. However anytime tonnage meets the sea substantial engineering must be carried out. This $6 Million project is a three way partnership between Harris County Pct. 2, HCTRA, and TXDOT.

Tentative opening set for April

LYNCHBURG – Locals are excited over the Ferry opening soon as traffic now begins to get heavy at 3:00 p.m.

The Lynchburg Ferry closed Tues., Feb. 25 2020 for necessary improvements to preserve the longevity of its operations. During the closure, crews are reconstructing the approaches and transfer ramps for the Lynchburg Ferry Boats.

According to informed sources, a second contractor is completing construction because the first encountered problems. During this closure, crews are reconstructing the approaches and transfer ramps that go onto and off of the Lynchburg Ferry boats. The $6 million project is a joint venture between Harris County Precinct 2, HCTRA (Harris County Toll Road Authority) and the Texas Department of Transportation.

At least another month of construction is going to be necessary due to demands of engineering to construction fulfillment, according to sources. Officially, the expected completion date is in April. Once complete, the Lynchburg Ferry will resume standard, toll-free operations.

According to Roxy Sibrian of HCTRA, “As you may be aware, the Lynchburg Ferry was closed in February of 2020 to make necessary improvements to preserve the longevity of its operations. The work encompasses reconstructing both approaches and transfer ramps that go onto and off the ferry boats.

Once complete, the project improvements will reduce ferry service outages related to the impact of local flooding, therefore providing better service and reliability to drivers. This project is a joint venture between HCTRA and the Texas Department of Transportation.

The Lynchburg Ferry is expected to open April 2021. The facility will resume standard, toll-free operations. We encourage drivers to visit our website for project updates hctra.org or follow the Lynchburg Ferry Facebook.

Harris County Commissioners Court approved the transfer of the Lynchburg Ferry and Washburn Tunnel to HCTRA operations. The transition is effective March 1, 2020.

The facilities will remain toll-free. Drivers should expect no changes to operations, other than the extended use of the Incident Response Team’s free roadside assistance at these facilities.

Ferry Operating Hours are to be Monday – Friday 4:30 AM – 8:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 11:00 AM – 6:30 PM. *Note: Two ferries are scheduled to operate from 3:30 PM to 6:30 PM Monday through Friday.

The Lynchburg Ferry, across from the Houston Ship Channel, connects North and South Independence Parkway and the San Jacinto Battleground Monument. Since 1888, Harris County has provided the ferry service free of charge. Todd Shipyard built the William P. Hobby and Ross S. Sterling ferryboats in 1964. Both ferries are 61’8″ x 40’5″ in length and 8’9″ in depth. Their weight is 85 gross registered tonnage, and a capacity of 10 vehicles. Depending on the wind, currents and traffic the ferry can take up to 5-10 minutes to cross the ship channel.

HCTRA is a department of Harris County government, but operates as an Enterprise Fund, being separate and apart, and receiving no funding from Harris County’s General Fund. Chapter 284 of the Texas Transportation Code authorizes HCTRA to fund non-toll transportation needs within the county via Mobility Program Funds. HCTRA’s Mobility Program funds are to be utilized solely for transportation purposes, and may be used for the study, design, construction, maintenance, repair, or operation of roads, streets, highways, or other related transportation facilities.

In order to ensure this unique transportation asset is safe and enjoyable for the long-term use by the traveling public, Harris County Commissioners Court approved the transfer of the Lynchburg Ferry to HCTRA operations.

In looking at the need to modernize and upgrade the facility, while continuing its toll-free operations and ongoing maintenance, bringing it under HCTRA operations is a commonsense solution for multiple reasons:

The ferry is a unique county transportation asset, so transferring it to a county transportation department is the next logical move.

HCTRA has a dedicated engineering staff, whereas county precincts typically do not.

HCTRA provides around-the-clock staffing, monitoring and operations of its existing transportation facilities; bringing the ferry facilities online within HCTRA’s infrastructure is a natural fit.

HCTRA is less constrained and more able to fund this county asset to ensure they are safe and enjoyable in the long-term for the traveling public.