Ferry wait times expected to get longer for two weeks

Posted at 2:53 PM, Sep 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-10 18:15:42-04

CORPUS CHRISTI — If you've ever taken the ferry to or from Port Aransas, you know sometimes there can be a wait. And beginning Wednesday, those wait times are expected to get a lot longer.

It's part of the dredging project to deepen and widen the ship channel. Beginning tomorrow, that dredging is expected to take place in the area where the ferries operate.

It's a big project and will be impacting those getting to and from work or visiting the island, like Josh Lange, who works at Deep Sea Head Quarters.

"It's going to cost me more money because now I have to drive all the way around," said Lange. "Or I've got to sit in line for an hour-and-a-half and let my car run."

"There's a lot of people that get on the ferry in the morning, so it will affect a lot more people than just myself," said Sammi Gatewood, who is also a commuter.

Lange and Gatewood both take the ferry from Rockport to Port Aransas every day. For them it's usually a 30-minute drive, with a 15 to 20-minute wait for the ferry. That wait time will be changing very soon.

A spokesperson for TXDOT says it's still unclear how much longer the wait times will be. They'll have a better idea when the dredging begins in that area.

However, the company did say the dredging project will likely force them to reduce the number of ferries that operate, giving these employees one of two options.

"I just realize I might have to get up earlier," said Lange. "I might have to be on the island a little longer in the afternoon."

Or then can take the long way, and drive through Corpus Christi to get to Port Aransas.

"Hopefully they just get it done quickly so that it doesn't affect a lot of people," said Lange. "Especially on the weekends, all the tourists trying to get over here."

The spokesperson for TXDOT also says those longer wait times are expected to last for up to two weeks. If there is any new information about those delays, KRIS 6 will be sure to keep you updated.

Meanwhile, the current phase of dredging will wrap up in February. The entire channel improvement project is expected to take three to four years to complete.