Temporary route found for Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry

By on February 18, 2013

M/V W. Stanford White (NCDOT Ferry Division photo)

M/V W. Stanford White (NCDOT Ferry Division)

Ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke might resume this week if the weather cooperates thanks to a temporary solution.

But the trip across Hatteras Inlet will take double the normal amount of time.

A 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, according to a statement from the N.C. Department of Transportation.

The NCDOT Ferry Division has formally asked the U.S. Coast Guard to mark it with navigational aids to resume ferry service sometime next week if the weather permits, the statement said.

The alternate channel is approximately 11 miles long and will take about 1 hour, 25 minutes to cross one-way, and is only a temporary solution until dredging of Rollinson Channel is finished, according to the statement.

A ferry schedule will be announced once the Coast Guard has placed the navigational aids and the ferry division has conducted a trial run.

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.

Rough weather and mechanical problems with the pipe dredge Richmond have held up progress of clearing the channel over the past two weeks.

The dredging project was 65 percent complete by quantity as of Friday.

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