Local News

Jul 22, 2014 12:44 PM by Rachel Cole - rcole@kristv.com

Plans to Ease Traffic Jams Near Ferry in Port Aransas

PORT ARANSAS - Traffic jams for the ferry in Port Aransas may cause major headaches for tourists who come to visit but constantly clog up surface streets for locals. Now, the city's Mayor, Keith McMullin, is proposing a solution to cut down on street traffic.

In a nutshell, passengers say they wait a long time in line to board the ferries to get to and from Port Aransas. Greg Dickinson, a local, says it's gotten slightly better in the last couple years.

"It's gotten a little better since we got these bigger ferries but still the traffic and the people that come on this island, we just can't handle it," he said.

Mayor McMullin agrees, the amount of cars coming through town is crowding surface streets and constantly causing traffic snarls.

"The issue is particularly at check out times at the hotels and the condos, everyone's trying to return home, our city streets are grid locked as a result of the line to get to the ferry," the mayor said.

So, Mayor McMullin is proposing a bond project that would include the purchase of more than 6 acres of property. That land would act as a designated waiting area for roughly 4-hundred cars.

"We're going to also change some of the traffic plans on how to approach the ferry, where you can get in the ferry line and where you can't," the mayor said.

The "stacking lane facility" would cost about 1.6 million dollars to construct.

"When you take that across the average homeowner in Port Aransas, the most we think it would be is twenty dollars a year," Mayor McMullin added.

He says, other alternatives to alleviate wait times, like building a bridge or even a tunnel are much more expensive options. He says, those would likely cost everyone and every agency more money out of pocket.

The city could know as early as a month from now, if the council approves the proposal. If so, the expansion plans could be completed by this time next summer.

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