Dredging to begin in Bigfoot Slough to ease Ocracoke shoaling

OCRACOKE, N.C. (WITN) – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to start work this weekend to clear critical shoaling in Bigfoot Slough just outside the North Carolina Ferry Division’s Ocracoke-Silver Lake Terminal.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation says the dredging operation is expected to begin sometime this weekend and take about 50 days, depending on weather and sea conditions.

“We’re very thankful to partner with the Corps of Engineers,” Ferry Deputy Division Director for Operations Jed Dixon said. “Shoaling continues to be a serious issue on the coast. The Corps has always responded quickly when we’ve had urgent requests.”

There are no planned changes to the state ferry schedules, but people planning a trip are still advised to check with the ferry terminals for any updates.

The DOT says shoaling occurs when waves push sand on the seabed and create areas where it is too shallow for boats to move through easily. Dredging ships use tools to clear the way for boats to navigate the waters.

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