News Releases

6/19/2017: Limited Spots Remain For Ferry Shipyard Tour June 29

Limited Spots Remain For Ferry Shipyard Tour June 29

Posted 6/19/2017 12:12:02 PM

MANNS HARBOR – North Carolina residents and visitors interested in getting a rare glimpse inside the Ferry System’s shipyard in Manns Harbor will get their first of four opportunities on Thursday, June 29. Officials are giving public tours of the facility for the first time ever as part of the 70th anniversary celebration of the ferry system. However, reservations are required and the tour is filling up fast. The tour will begin promptly at 10 a.m., and last about an hour. It will include a close-up view of the working shipyard where the state’s 21 ferries are repaired, maintained and painted. Participants will be required to wear hard hats (provided by the Ferry Division) and wear closed-toe footwear. Additional tours will be held on July 27, August 24, and September 28. Anyone interested in reserving a spot on any of the tours should email Tim Hass at tdhass@ncdot.gov.    (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
(Caption: NCDOT's Shipyard located in Manns Harbor, NC)
View on NCDOT.gov

6/2/2017: Contract Awarded for Construction of State's First Passenger Ferry

Contract Awarded for Construction of State's First Passenger Ferry

Posted 6/2/2017 10:38:02 AM

RALEIGH - Passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village is a major step closer to reality this week. On Tuesday, the N.C. Department of Transportation awarded a $4.15 million contract to Armstrong Marine Inc. of Port Angeles, Washington, for construction of a 98-passenger catamaran-style ferry. The vessel will be built at Armstrong Marine’s eastern shipyard in Swansboro, North Carolina. “Although we’ve been laying the groundwork for quite some time now, this contract officially puts the passenger ferry project on the public’s radar,” said Interim Ferry Division Director Jed Dixon. “We are hoping that by this time next year, direct passenger ferry service to Ocracoke Village will be up and running.” The ferry will run between Hatteras and Silver Lake Harbor, allowing passengers to disembark in the heart of Ocracoke Village. From there, visitors will be able to navigate the village on foot, bicycle or golf cart, or catch a new shuttle service that Hyde County will be providing in conjunction with the passenger ferry. The new ferry service will supplement the Ferry Division’s existing car ferries, and is designed to ease summer traffic congestion on the popular route. Much of the project funding comes from a Federal Lands Access Program grant. The grant also covers infrastructure improvements at Hatteras and Ocracoke that will accommodate ferry passengers. Under the terms of the contract, Armstrong Marine is expected to deliver the new ferry by April 28, 2018. This contract was one of 14 road, bridge and ferry projects recently awarded by the N.C. Department of Transportation. They totaled $186.8 million, and were awarded to the lowest qualified bidders, as required by state law. (NCDOT)        
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
(Caption: Artist rendering of NCDOT Passenger Ferry, to begin operation between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village next summer)
View on NCDOT.gov

5/30/2017: 70th Anniversary of NC Ferry System Celebrated This Summer

70th Anniversary of NC Ferry System Celebrated This Summer

Posted 5/30/2017 10:24:17 AM

Manns Harbor – It all started with a single route linking Manns Harbor and Roanoke Island in 1947. Now, the North Carolina Ferry System will be filling the summer months with tours, contests and events celebrating 70 years of providing safe, affordable and reliable transportation across eastern N.C. “Ferry service in eastern North Carolina didn’t start with us, but I do think we’ve modernized and improved it,” said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon. The North Carolina Highway Commission (predecessor of the Department of Transportation) began subsidizing privately-run ferry routes in 1934 in order to keep tolls affordable for both locals and visitors. In 1947, the commission purchased T.A. Baum’s five-mile route across Croatan Sound from the mainland to Manteo. Three years later, the commission purchased Toby Tillett’s ferry service across Oregon Inlet onto Hatteras Island. Today, North Carolina has the second largest state-owned ferry system in the nation, with seven regular routes over five different bodies of water. State ferries carried more than 800,000 vehicles and nearly 1.9 million passengers last year. They also helped evacuate Ocracoke Island before Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew arrived. In summer 2018, the Ferry Division will add new direct passenger ferry service between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Village in order to alleviate seasonal backups that occur on the popular Outer Banks route. Among the items marking the Ferry System’s 70th Anniversary: State Shipyard Tours – The Ferry Division will conduct public tours of the Manns Harbor Shipyard at 10 a.m. on June 29, July 27, Aug. 24, and Sept. 28. Space is limited, and those wishing to participate will need to make reservations in advance by emailing Tim Hass at tdhass@ncdot.gov. Photo Contests – Ferry passengers are invited to submit photos for use on the Ferry System’s social media pages by tagging Instagram or Twitter photos with the hashtag #FerryFotoFriday, or by posting them in a comment on the Ferry System’s Facebook page. Each week, a photo will be selected by department staff to be used for a Facebook and Twitter #FerryFotoFriday post.   The Ferry System will also post historic ferry photos on social media every Thursday. The 70th Anniversary celebration will run through September. You can follow the Ferry System on Facebook and Twitter. ***NCDOT***
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution
North Carolina's first state-run ferry route was between this landing in Manns Harbor, NC and Roanoke Island. The route was eventually replaced by the William B. Umstead Bridge in 1957.
View on NCDOT.gov

5/11/2017: Summer Heats Up on the N.C. Coast with Additional Ferry Runs

Summer Heats Up on the N.C. Coast with Additional Ferry Runs

Posted 5/11/2017 9:43:28 AM

Manns Harbor – Longer days and warmer weather mean visitors will soon begin their annual summer treks to the North Carolina coast. Once there, they’ll be greeted with extra ferries to get them to their destinations, as the N.C. Ferry System transitions to its summer schedules beginning May 16. The popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route will begin running 36 round-trip departures each day between the two islands, up from 28 round-trips in the spring. On busier days, there will also be unscheduled ‘shuttle’ runs to help ease any backups that occur. Motorists are still encouraged to be early birds by arriving at Hatteras before the late morning traffic peak, especially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. ”Like any other mode of transportation, the ferry system has peak travel times in the summer when the wait will be longer,” said Ferry Division Interim Director Jed Dixon. “By avoiding those peak times, travelers can get to their destinations a lot faster.” On May 23, the Ferry System will bolster the schedule on its two Pamlico Sound routes. The Swan Quarter-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to four, and the Cedar Island-Ocracoke route will go from three daily round trips to five. Motorists headed to Cedar Island this summer are advised to leave early, as construction on U.S. 70 and N.C. 12 may cause driving delays of up to 30 minutes on the way to the ferry terminal. A printable schedule for all seven of the Ferry System’s routes is available online at www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf.  (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

View on NCDOT.gov

12/21/2016: 2016 Brings Stability, Storms and New Service to N.C. Ferry Division

2016 Brings Stability, Storms and New Service to N.C. Ferry Division

Posted 12/21/2016 12:48:01 AM

(Manns Harbor) - The North Carolina Ferry System met the challenges of two storm-based evacuations, found stability through new legislation and took the first steps toward establishing new passenger ferry service during a very busy and productive 2016. “This was a very good year for the Ferry System,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “Under the leadership of Governor Pat McCrory, we’ve ended years of tolling uncertainty and solved the issue of funding ferry replacement. We’re developing a new passenger ferry service for Ocracoke that will alleviate our summertime congestion problems. And we quickly and efficiently got thousands of North Carolina residents and visitors out of harm’s way when storms threatened the coast.” A look back at the Ferry Division’s year reveals several major milestones that put both the importance and potential of the state’s ferry system on full display. This year’s state budget, signed by Governor McCrory, ended years of uncertainty over ferry tolls by keeping all four of the system’s untolled routes free to the public. In addition, it provided for a recurring expenditure of $4 million per year to replace aging ferry vessels. The budget also provided a one-time expenditure of $3.5 million to establish a passenger ferry service between Hatteras and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake terminal. Planning for the passenger ferry service, which also received a National Park Service grant, is already underway, with a projected start date in the summer of 2018. Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew impacted the North Carolina coast this year, resulting in the mandatory evacuation of Ocracoke Island. Over the course of those two emergencies (one during the busy Labor Day weekend), North Carolina ferries carried 3,251 passengers and 1,447 vehicles to safety. In addition, the N.C. Ferry Division christened its new, state-of-the-art Dredge Manteo in May and opened a new terminal/visitors center in Currituck in August. A heroic ferry crew rescued boaters from a charter boat fire near Swan Quarter in July. Looking ahead to 2017, the N.C. Ferry Division will celebrate its 70th Anniversary, open a new terminal/office building at Cherry Branch and start construction on new facilities at Hatteras and Ocracoke in anticipation of passenger ferry service beginning in 2018. “The Ferry Division charted a new course in 2016,” said Goodwin. “I think the people of North Carolina are going to like where we’re going.” (NCDOT)
Release Image
Click this image to view at original resolution

View on NCDOT.gov