Balboa ferry will be back running cars across Newport Bay on Saturday – Orange County Register

Balboa ferry will be back running cars across Newport Bay on Saturday – Orange County Register

The Balboa Island Ferry, which shuttles people across Newport Bay between the island and the Fun Zone on the Balboa Peninsula, will be back in full service early Saturday, Jan. 29.

It was shut down to cars for all of January so workers could access Agate Street to bury overhead utilities as part of a $6.2 million undergrounding project on Balboa Island. The project was approved in 2018, but took until September to start building the conduits and vaults to house the utilities underground.

Mike Sinacori, assistant city engineer in Newport Beach, said Friday, Jan. 28, the work was completed in the time anticipated.

This is the illustration that is available on a Balboa Island Ferry T-shirt through Feb. 7. (Photo courtesy of Nate Capra)

Nate Capra, a former ferry boat captain and now manager of the historical island business, said the closure to cars affected the family business. He’s ecstatic the ferry is opening back up again to its main group of users.

“We’ve never had a closure like this before,” he said. “We’re excited to see our locals again. As a tourism and transportation business, tourists evaporate away at this time of the year, so we always look forward to our locals.”

To compensate for the loss of revenue from the closure, Capra has come up with a commemorative ferry T-shirt that will be sold for a limited time to raise some money for the 102-year-old business. Capra partnered with Huntington Beach artist Scott Milton Brazee to develop his idea. The design shows a Balboa Island ferry devoid of cars and reads: “I started 2022 with a little more legroom on the Balboa Island Ferry.”

The Corgi featured on the shirt is Maddox, one of the ferry business’s most popular regulars. He crosses with his signature sunglasses in his owner’s backpack almost every day.

The shirts will be sold as pre-orders through Feb. 7, and cost $30.

The ferry will start back up at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and run until midnight. It runs seven days a week and costs $2.25 for a car and its driver; additional passengers cost extra. Pedestrians can ride for $1.25; bicyclists for $1.50; motorcyclists for $1.75. Children ages 5 to 11 pay 50 cents.

The ferry ride takes about three minutes and travels the distance of three football fields.