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Alternate Ferry Schedule Extended to April 12

The Army Corps of Engineers’ dredge Murden transits the channel just off Ocracoke Island. Photo: Mark Hibbs

The state Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has extended the alternate Pamlico Sound Ferry schedule through April 12 while dredging efforts continue in Bigfoot Slough, the ferry channel just outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor.

The following schedule is through April 12, weather permitting:

  • Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
  • Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Shoaling occurs when sand and sediment fill into a ferry channel, making water depths too shallow and the channel too narrow for safe operation of the ferry system’s largest vessels.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ dredges Murden or Merritt will continue to work in the Bigfoot Slough channel to clear the shoaling, but dredging operations are dependent on weather and tides. Once the dredging  is complete and water depths and channel widths return to acceptable levels, the Ferry Division will resume its regular schedule on both routes.

This is the third time the alternate schedule for ferries on Pamlico Sound between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke has been extended because of continued shoaling issues in the ferry channel just outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor. The schedule was first altered March 26, April 1 and April 5.

For up-to-the-minute information on schedule changes on the Cedar Island and Swan Quarter routes, follow @NCFerryPamSound on Twitter.

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Staff Report

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