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The TxDOT Update
News and Information from the Texas Department of Transportation

In this issue

  • Dedication of New Port Aransas Ferries Planned
  • Amarillo District's Drought-Proof Garden
  • Transportation Commission Meeting Set for June 30
  • Dennis Announces Retirement
  • Statewide Podcasts
  • Small Hr


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June 13, 2011

Editor's Note: Here's our roundup of Texas Department of Transportation news and events. If you have any questions, comments or just want to know more about something you read here, send a message to AskTxDOT@txdot.gov.

Dedication of New Port Aransas Ferries Planned

Content Inline

Two new Port Aransas ferries – the Michael W. Behrens and Charles W. Heald, named after former TxDOT executive directors – will be dedicated in a special ceremony June 24. The new vessels will go into operation July 1, expanding the Port Aransas Ferry System fleet from six to eight. The ferry service connects Mustang Island and Port Aransas with the mainland via Aransas Pass and runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The new boats carry up to 28 passenger cars, compared to 20 on the older boats. Expanding the fleet allows the system to run seven boats a day instead of six. The system currently carries an average of 4,000 to 11,000 vehicles daily.

State and local officials, including TxDOT Executive Director Amadeo Saenz and Texas Transportation Commissioner William Meadows, will participate in the dedication ceremony at the Port Aransas Ferry Landing.

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Amarillo District's Drought-Proof Garden

Two years ago, Amarillo District Landscape Architect Pat Brinkman installed an experimental garden irrigated with captured rainwater. Brinkman wanted to find out if the garden would thrive on only rain as a source of water in the dry soil of the Panhandle, where drought conditions have become the norm. His experiment worked. TxDOT plans to use Brinkman's irrigation system along rural roadways and safety rest areas where water is scarce. The Amarillo CBS affiliate NewsChannel 10 has been following Brinkman's experiment and recently aired a success story about the drought-proof garden.

View the NewsChannel 10 report »

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Transportation Commission Meeting Set for June 30

The Texas Transportation Commission will convene for its next regular monthly meeting at 9 a.m., Thursday, June 30. The meeting will be held at the Texas State Capitol Extension Auditorium, E1.004, while the Greer Building, TxDOT's Austin headquarters and where the Commission usually meets, undergoes renovation. The Commission will not hold a workshop session in June.

The Commission will consider awarding state funds to small urban and rural public transportation providers for FY 2012, and will receive staff updates on the agency's modernization efforts and transportation-related bills adopted by the Legislature.

Read the agenda »

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Dennis Announces Retirement


Delvin Dennis, P.E., TxDOT's Houston District Engineer, has announced his retirement effective Aug. 31, 2011. Dennis has worked in the Houston District during his entire 31-year career with TxDOT. He has served as the Houston DE since 2008.

Dennis was the Houston District Deputy Engineer from 1998 to 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Houston in 1980.


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Statewide Podcasts

TxDOT produces a weekly Statewide Podcast to keep you updated on the latest transportation news and issues, and new podcast episodes are published every Friday on the TxDOT website, www.txdot.gov.

In this week's episode, we talk with Bill Mallini, TxDOT Galveston Ferry Operations Manager, about the agency's ferry system in Port Aransas and Galveston. Episodes are also available on iTunes.

Listen to Podcast »

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