February 15, 2013
Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry service set to resume next week
survey conducted this past weekend by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
identified an alternate channel at Hatteras Inlet that could
temporarily be used to provide ferry service.
Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has formally asked the
U.S. Coast Guard to mark it with navigational aids to resume ferry
service sometime next week, weather permitting.
alternate channel is approximately 11 miles long and will take about an
hour and 25 minutes to cross one-way. It is a temporary solution only
until dredging is completed on the primary route through Rollinson
A ferry schedule will be announced once the USCG has
placed the navigational aids, and the ferry division has conducted a
Once ferry service resumes, the extra runs added to
the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route to accommodate residents and vendors
will cease, as will toll-exempt status.
Heavy shoaling in
Rollinson Channel has been a problem since Hurricane Irene and was
exacerbated by Hurricane Sandy in late October.
dredge Richmond has been working to clear the channel since December.
The Corps has a contract with the dredge’s owner for the work, which is
scheduled to be completed by March 31.
As of today, the
dredging project at the Hatteras ferry channel was 65 percent complete
by quantity. An update on further progress will be provided as soon as
additional information is received from the Corps.
Ferries ran only
at high tide for the first few weeks of this year, and the Ferry
Division finally shut down operations on Jan. 18 because the channel
The only access to Ocracoke has been via
ferries from Swan Quarter and Cedar Island. The crossing takes
about two and a half hours.
For more information about the Hatteras ferry route status, travelers can sign-up to receive messages on Twitter by going to www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry or visit the N.C. 12 Facebook page.