News Releases

10/19/2017: Currituck Ferry Route to Suspend Service for Several Hours Oct. 24

Currituck Ferry Route to Suspend Service for Several Hours Oct. 24

Posted 10/19/2017 2:01:33 PM

CURRITUCK - The NCDOT Ferry Division’s Currituck-Knotts Island route will be suspending service for several hours on Tuesday, Oct. 24, in order to repair ramps and bumpers at the Knotts Island terminal. The route will shut down after the 7 a.m. departure from Knotts Island to Currituck. After the repair work is completed, the route will resume its regular schedule with the 3:30 p.m. departure from Currituck to Knotts Island. For real time alerts on all schedule interruptions, follow the Ferry Division on Twitter at @NCDOT_Ferry. (NCDOT)
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10/16/2017: New River Class Vehicle Ferry to be Built

New River Class Vehicle Ferry to be Built

Posted 10/16/2017 1:53:25 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a $9.7 million contract for construction of a new river class vehicle ferry for the N.C. Ferry Division. The vessel is due to be delivered by March 1, 2019. “This is a great first step in phasing out our smaller boats and replacing them with larger ones,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “Eventually it will allow us to increase our capacity with the same number of scheduled trips.” The new ferry will be 183 feet long and have room for 38 regular-sized vehicles.  It will serve as a replacement for the 22-year-old M/V Thomas A. Baum, a Hatteras-class ferry that carries 26 vehicles. The contract was awarded to Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. The project was funded by State Transportation Improvement Project (STIP) money awarded by the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization. Once built, the new vessel will be the Ferry Division’s first new car ferry since the M/V Sea Level was christened in 2012. (NCDOT)
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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 8:40:39 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***
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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.
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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)
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9/2/2015: NCDOT Ferry Division Lays Out Future Possibilities For Hatteras-Ocracoke Route

NCDOT Ferry Division Lays Out Future Possibilities For Hatteras-Ocracoke Route

Posted 9/2/2015 12:29:57 PM

(HATTERAS) - Faced with a summertime congestion problem on its popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division held meetings this week to get public input on possible solutions to ease congestion and return Ocracoke Island visitation to pre-recession levels. The meetings, held in Ocracoke on Monday and Hatteras Tuesday, are part of an NCDOT Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study that could lead to the establishment of passenger-only ferry service between Hatteras Village and Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor by the summer of 2017. Theoretically, the passenger ferries would drop visitors off directly in Ocracoke Village, where Hyde County would provide tram service around the village and to attractions such as the Ocracoke Lighthouse and the British Cemetery. The passenger ferries would be in addition to the Ferry Division’s current car ferry service.  “There are a lot of moving parts here, but if they all come together, this could solve a lot of the issues for Ocracoke visitation,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It would ease the backups we have on the car ferry route, and bring more visitors with fewer cars into the village. On the surface, it seems like a win-win all around.” Other solutions are included in the study as well, such as year-round dredging of the now-closed “short” car ferry route, putting more car ferries into service on the current route, or loading more walk-on passengers onto the existing departures. But each of those comes with its own expense and logistical issues. The Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study began earlier this year and has included test runs of the possible ferry route, passenger surveys, and meetings with the public and stakeholders. It has also identified the kind of infrastructure and parking improvements that would be needed before service begins. The study is due to be complete by the end of 2015. For a complete look at the information presented at these meetings, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncdot/albums/72157658106977475 (NCDOT)
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Members of the public attend an informational meeting Monday in Ocracoke on NCDOT's Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study
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