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Toll Road Authority Takes Control Of Washburn Tunnel, Lynchburg Ferry

Despite the operational change, HCTRA says there are no plans to start charging tolls.


The Lynchburg Ferry in East Harris County.

Up until now, the Washburn Tunnel and Lynchburg Ferry were under the control of Harris County Precinct 2. But that all changed Sunday.

Control of the East Harris County tunnel and ferry has been transferred to the Harris County Toll Road Authority, after a vote by the County Commissioners Court in an effort to help fund much-needed repairs and upgrades.

Considering the tunnel and the ferry's future needs, it made sense to turn them over to a county department that handles transportation, said HCTRA Interim Executive Director Peter Key.

"They need a funding source for the long term,” Key said. "Putting them under the county's toll road system, which is a transportation department, we have the ability in the long term to provide funding for those transportation assets."

Key said HCTRA is currently looking at ways to upgrade the tunnel and the ferry's operations but he stressed there are no plans to start collecting tolls.

And Key added this could free up county funds for other needs.

"The county has tremendous needs in public health, public safety, housing,” Key said, “and the tunnel and the ferry were having to utilize those scarce financial resources."

Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

News Anchor

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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