NCDOT Ferry Division awards contract for pair of new vessels

By on November 19, 2018

New vessels are scheduled for delivery in 2020. (NCDOT)

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has awarded a contract to Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma, Louisiana, for the construction of two new river-class vehicle ferries.

The two ferries will cost a total of $22.85 million, and will be paid for with money from the Ferry Division’s Vessel Replacement Fund.

The two new ferries, tentatively named the M/V Avon and the M/V Salvo, will carry 40 vehicles each and replace the smaller Hatteras-class ferries M/V Kinnakeet and the M/V Chicamacomico.

“These two new boats, along with the two others already under construction, will both increase our capacity and upgrade our technology,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “The new ferries mark a major step in improving and modernizing the North Carolina Ferry System.”

A new, 38-vehicle river-class ferry is scheduled for delivery in March 2019 to replace the M/V Thomas A. Baum on the Hatteras Inlet route. The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke villages is also slated to begin operations next May.

The Dare County Board of Commissioners expressed hesitation in October when asked for a resolution to name the new vessels for the current names of the villages on Hatteras Island.

Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon informed commissioners on Nov. 5 the traditional names that honor Hatteras Island’s Native American history could be placed on future vessels once their current namesakes are retired.

Commissioners approved the resolution requesting the Avon and Salvo names be used on the new vessels scheduled to be delivered in 2020.

The North Carolina Ferry System is the second-largest state-run ferry system in the United States, operating 21 boats on seven regular routes across five bodies of water.

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local Girl

It’s not tolled because it’s part of the Highway system, the same a normal road or bridge. you can’t charge a toll to go on a public road unless there’s alternate route.

The future passenger ferry is something they can charge for because there is an alternate route; the free ferry.

born here

@local The ferries are considered part of the highway system, a public road, not a ‘fun thing to do.’ It’s the only way on or off the island for the people who live there. And as a public road, they can’t charge a toll. They do have to keep up with it same as replacing a road or a bridge.

The gov. is not allowed to charge a toll unless there is an alternate route one can take. This is why they CAN charge a toll on the passenger ferry. The free ferry is alternative route.


Where does the $22.85 million in the Ferry Division’s Vessel Replacement Fund come from? Taxpayers? I never understood why the Hatteras/Ocracoke ferries never charged even a minimal fee for visitors. Think of how all of that money could help the taxpayers of North Carolina! It just doesn’t make sense!