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January 5, 2009

TxDOT ferry launched

Houston-based naval architecture and engineering firm Alan C. McClure Associates (ACMA) has released video of launch and roll-over of a new 264-foot ferry being built for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) by Conrad Industries in Morgan City, Louisiana.

ACMA is currently providing owner's representation and, having finished the contract level design, is now in the final phases of the detailed design development for shipyard construction.

According to ACMA VP Darrel Harvey, "ACMA's primary focus has involved changing and upgrading the propulsion and control equipment, which includes a new AC variable frequency propulsion system, EPA Tier II diesels and a 'triple-blade' high-aspect rudder system for increased vessel maneuverability. A new electronic engine control system is also being incorporated into the vessel which will have an ABS ACCU endorsement along with a Maltese Cross A1."

ACMA and naval architects Schuller & Allan were selected by TxDOT in 2006 to oversee the design and construction of the latest addition to the fleet of TxDOT ferries that travel 2.7 miles in approximately 18 minutes across one of the world's busiest waterways that supports the Port of Houston, one of the largest inland ports in the U.S..

When complete, the ferry will carry approximately 70 vehicles, 500 passengers, be manned by a crew of six and connect two segments of Texas State Highway 87 to allow motorists to cross the Bolivar Roads Channel between Bolivar Peninsula and Galveston Island.

The ferry is currently being outfitted dock-side and is on schedule for delivery in the second half of 2009.


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