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New State Ferry Reaches Milestone

The 48,000-pound hull of the M/V Ocracoke Express was flipped over Monday by workers of US Workboats, putting construction of the North Carolina Ferry Division’s first passenger-only vessel into its final stages, according to a release Tuesday from the state’s Department of Transportation.

With the hull flipped, US Workboats, based in Hubert in Onslow County, will complete assembly of the ferry and expects to deliver the 98-passenger vessel to the Ferry Division in September.

The $4.15 million Ocracoke Express, designed to alleviate summer congestion, will shuttle passengers between Hatteras Inlet Terminal and Silver Lake Terminal in Ocracoke Village.

“This is a major milestone in the vessel construction,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas in a statement. “We’re looking forward to showing this vessel off to the public this fall.”

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.