The Army Corps of Engineers’ side caster dredge is scheduled to be dredging Sloop Channel in the Hatteras Inlet. Photo: C. Leinbach

By Connie Leinbach –  Ocracoke Observer

Ocracoke received some good news recently when Catherine Peele, a planning developer with the NC Ferry Division, reported to the Ocracoke Waterways Commission that the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) has approved Sloop Channel in the Hatteras Inlet for dredging.

This is the area in the “horseshoe” where two ferries cannot pass and must make a series of S turns to traverse a shoaled spot. Those maneuvers typically add several minutes to the runs.

Ernie Doshier, chair of the commission, said that weather permitting, the ACE’s side caster dredge was set to head for that spot today (Feb. 28) to make a navigable cut through that area.

In the meantime, the Ferry Division has modified schedules on its routes between Feb. 6 and March 25 so that it can devote more resources to its spring and summer schedules.

However, the current schedule between Ocracoke and Hatteras will remain in place until March 5.

Because of the shoaling in the Barney Slough, a shallow area on the other side of the horseshoe at the tip of Hatteras Island, ferries to and from Hatteras have been using the Rollinson Channel to get to the deeper water in the Pamlico Sound. That is the same route the passenger ferry takes departing Hatteras.

Also, pending, the state pipeline dredge is supposed to clear out a shoaled area pinching the basin at South Dock, Doshier said, but the state is awaiting the arrival of a part and neither he nor Peele knew when that would arrive.

The dredge also will work on a shoaled area near the bulkhead, Doshier said.

The goal is to dredge out 37,000 cubic yards of sand from the basin area, which could be deposited on top of the sandbag area at the north end to repair the area from the recent overwash.

To help make room for more runs this spring and summer on the Hatteras ferry, Peele said the division will modify the passenger ferry schedule according to peak usage.

“We added a run on peak days of Tuesday through Friday and deleted some departures on Saturday to Monday,” she said. The passenger ferry typically runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Spring and summer schedules for all ferries will be set and published after dredging in Hatteras Inlet is completed and they know how long the run time will be between islands, she said.

She said the cost to operate the passenger ferry for 116 days in 2023 (including personnel and fuel) was $249,000.

She also said that revenues from ferry tolls, for both the passenger and vehicle ferries, by law do not go back into operations but go into a capital fund for ferry replacement.

The post Dredges to work in Hatteras Inlet appeared first on Island Free Press.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites

Credit: Original content published here.

Similar Posts