By Sam Walker on February 22, 2013
Ferry operations between Hatteras and Ocracoke will resume this morning, more than a month since the route was shutdown by extreme shoaling of the channel across Hatteras Inlet.
The NCDOT Ferry Division announced Thursday the route will be using a temporary alternate route that will operate until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finishes dredging the primary channel.The new route surveyed by the Corps is approximately 10 1/2 miles long and takes about 60 to 70 minutes to cross each way.
The U.S. Coast Guard marked the alternate route with navigational aids this week.
The Ferry Division said day and night runs without passengers or vehicles were made to make sure the channel route was safe, the navigational aids were operating properly and the ferry masters were comfortable with the route.
There will be two boats operating on the route on Friday, with a third ferry starting on Saturday.
Departures will begin each day at 5 a.m. from the Hatteras, and 4:30 a.m. from Ocracoke, and continue either every one or two hours from each dock. The final run from Hatteras will leave at 12 a.m., and 12:30 a.m. from Ocracoke.
The opening of the alternate Hatteras-Ocracoke route means the extra departures added to the Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route to accommodate vendors and residents have stopped.
The Swan Quarter route has returned to its regular schedule, and normal tolling procedures will resume Friday.