Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries adapt longer routes for dredging efforts

HATTERAS, N.C. (WITN) – State highway officials say a ferry route will become longer starting tomorrow due to dredging efforts.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineering is set to begin a dredging project through the Barney Slough, a traditional ferry channel for the Hatteras-Ocracoke route. This project will make the water shallower than normal which could possibly damage the vessels, according to the D.O.T.

Hatteras-Ocracoke ferries will take a longer route starting tomorrow, Dec. 7, which will add 1.5 miles to the voyage causing each trip to be 20 minutes longer. The schedule will be as follows:

From Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 9 p.m. and midnight.

From Ocracoke: 4 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 7 p.m., 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.

“This is not something we take lightly,’ said Interim Ferry Division Director Jed Dixon. “But the safety of our passengers and crews is our top priority, and conditions in Barney Slough have deteriorated such that it is no longer possible to continue operating there.”

The Army Corps reports their project to take seven days, weather permitting, and the Ferry Division will monitor the water until it returns to a safe level.