RODANTHE -With the
traditional peak of the hurricane season just days away, the North Carolina
Department of Transportation today successfully tested new ferry ramps at
Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, marking a major improvement to the emergency ferry route
that provides access to Hatteras Island in the event of storm damage to NC
On Thursday, the M/V Stanford
White made a "dry run" between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, testing the
ability of the newly installed ramps to load and unload traffic at both
emergency terminals. DOT engineers say the ramps passed all performance tests
with flying colors.
"We hope not to need these ramps anytime soon," said NC Ferry Division
Deputy Director Jed Dixon, "but if we do, the new ramps will provide the public
safer and more reliable access to the emergency route that serves as a lifeline
to Hatteras Island after a major storm." The route was used extensively in 2011
after Hurricane Irene and again in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. Both storms
caused major damage to NC12.
The new ramps are more corrosion resistant and operate with hydraulic
lifts rather than the older chain fall hoist system. The ramps can also receive
power from the ferries themselves, an important feature given the tenuous
nature of electrical power in the days after a major storm.
DOT contractor T.A. Loving of Goldsboro installed the ramps during the
spring and summer months. The total project cost was $1.78 million.
Car loads onto the M/V Stanford White at the Stumpy Point Ferry Terminal Thursday. DOT workers and contractors successfully tested new ramps at both Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, which serves as an emergency ferry route after major storms cut road access to Hatteras Island.