Hampton Roads Transit to christen new ferry Friday

Posted at 9:29 PM, Jul 12, 2017

NORFOLK, Va. – Sick of traffic on 64? Try the ferry instead!

Hampton Roads Transit will welcome a new ferry to its fleet in an official christening ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Norfolk Waterside Dock Friday.

The new ferry, Elizabeth River Ferry IV, is part of a $7 million contract to eventually replace all three of HRT’s existing ferries, which are becoming too expensive to maintain. The James C. Echols, built in 1982, the Elizabeth River Ferry II, built in 1986, and the Elizabeth River Ferry III, built in 1990, all require continuous structural and mechanical repairs to keep them in compliance with regulations set forth by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Elizabeth River Ferry IV is designed to carry 150 passengers and crews just like its predecessors. However, it has two-man hatches on the port and starboard sides – unlike the existing ferries, which only have one –  to allow faster loading and unloading.

According to the City of Norfolk, ferry service has surged in the last few months with over 67,000 riders in June – approximately 22,000 more riders than June of last year.

Several elected officials from Norfolk and Portsmouth are scheduled to attend.

What: christening ceremony for the Elizabeth River Ferry IV

When: Friday, July 14 at 11 a.m.

Where: Norfolk Waterside Dock

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