Galveston vacationers see big delays on July 4th

July 5, 2012 11:15:56 AM PDT
Galveston is always a popular destination for families on the Fourth of July. But this year, some found themselves spending more time in line than relaxing with their loved ones.

The beach was packed with thousands of people, but there were some tense moments Wednesday for some of those folks who waited in long lines at the Galveston Ferry Landing.

It's Independence Day in Galveston, and as thousands of people packed the beach for some family fun time, a short distance away was a major traffic backup leading up to the Galveston Ferry Landing. Traffic backed up for at least a mile at times, and hundreds of drivers were waiting, and waiting.

And others were waiting some more for a spot in the ferry line.

"Well even just to cut in, it was quite a wait," San Antonio resident Vivian Lara said.

Some of these holiday travelers say they only expected minor delays getting from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula, but nothing like this.

Many of the drivers waiting in line for the ferry told us they are still scratching their heads, wondering why this brand new ferry, the John W. Johnson, still isn't moving.

It's the $24-million ferry the Texas Department of Transportation introduced back in November. The ferry is supposed to be able to carry 70 vehicles and 500 passengers. But it was docked Wednesday, while four other ferries handled the long line.

"Well, I think they should have had it by this weekend. It should have been done. It would have made it a lot easier on everybody," Willis resident Jim Hicks said.

We attempted to contact TxDOT, but because it's a holiday, no one has yet to return our call.

And with the beach at the top of many of the tourists list this holiday. Some families told us they found unique ways to get ahead in the long ferry lines.

"Well we were very fortunate, someone from the gift shop told us that to come down one of the back streets, otherwise we were going to be waiting long periods," Lara said.

Many of those folks told us they were practicing a lot of patience this holiday

Many of the families visiting the island tell me they are looking forward to a fun-filled night. There will be an Independence Day Parade kicking off on Seawall Boulevard between 28th and 45th streets at 7:30pm. And the beach will be packed for the city's fireworks show, which begins at 9:15pm.

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