The Texas Department of Transportation plans to add a new vessel to the Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry rotation in 2021, the agency announced Thursday.
The $32.9 million ferry will be built by Houma, Louisiana-based Gulf Island Fabrication. The ferry was designed by the Shearer Group, a Houston design firm awarded an engineering contract for a new 500-passenger, 70-car ferry in 2017.
Like other ferries that shuttle vehicles between Galveston Island and Bolivar Peninsula, the new ferry will be double-ended, allowing cars and trucks to drive onto one end and off the other.
The ferry will be powered by a diesel-electric engine and will have a lithium ion battery energy storage system, according to the transportation department.
Plans are for the ferry to be ready by 2021, according to the transportation department.
The most recent ferry added to the fleet was the John W. Johnson in 2011. The department has not picked a name for the new ferry yet.
The free Galveston-Port Bolivar Ferry has operated since 1934. The fleet consists of six vessels that carry about 5 million passengers every year, according to the transportation department.