Southwest Shipyard, Houston, has been tapped by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to build the third vessel in a new class of 28-car ferries for the city of Port Aransas, Texas.

Like the previous two vessels, the new ferry was designed by Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG). TxDOT has worked with EBDG since 2008, and when the agency contracted with the company for four years of on-call support in 2014. The first project was the design of a diesel-electric version of the 28-car ferry.

The 161’x52’x11' ABS-classed ferry will feature an updated propulsion system designed for greater built-in redundancy and less maintenance over the vessel’s lifetime. The ferry is due to enter service in February 2017 and will shuttle between Port Aransas and Harbor Island. The ferry will have an 8' draft.

"EBDG is pleased to be providing the new generation of ferries for Port Aransas,” said Brian King, EBDG vice president of engineering. "It's nice to be once again working with TxDOT and Southwest Shipyard for the construction of another ferry. I am confident that Southwest Shipyard will do an excellent job."