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New Ferry Added in Port Aransas

The new Joseph F. Weber ferry was christened on a foggy March 1 morning in Port Aransas. The newest of the Texas Department of Transportation fleet can carry 28 cars and will replace an older model designed for only 20 cars.

Port Aransas celebrated the addition of its fifth 28-vessel ferry during a presentation ceremony at the ferry terminal on Texas 361 on March 1.

The newest member of the eight-ferry fleet was christened the Joseph F. Weber, who was present at the event. All Port Aransas ferries are named after former executive directors of the Texas Department of Transportation. Each ferry sports the colors of its namesake’s university alma mater.

Weber was named executive director of TxDOT in 2014. In 2018, he was elected Fayette County judge. He has also been vice president of student affairs at Texas A&M University and has served in the Marines.

A ferry named for Executive Director Phil Wilson was dedicated in August 2018.

The two new vehicles being added to the Port Aransas fleet include diesel-electric propulsion systems with three 750-horsepower engines compared to the two 600-horsepower engines on the other three 28-vehicle ferries. They also include advanced emissions technology that reduces emissions by about 10,000 pounds.

Also upgraded are the all-LED lighting systems, the electronics, and radio equipment. The new ferries also include shaded seating.

The ferry in Port Aransas operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. More than 3 million vehicles are transported across the Corpus Christi Channel between Port Aransas and Aransas Pass a year.

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