Ferry Division reverses course, Currituck-Knotts Island route to resume Wednesday

A North Carolina ferry carries a school bus between Currituck and Knotts Island. [NCDOT]

After it appeared the Currituck-Knotts Island ferry would not be running again anytime soon, there’s been a reverse of course by the N.C. Department of Transportation Ferry Division.

State Rep. Bobby Hanig of Powells Point told OBX Today Thursday night NCDOT had agreed to resume operations next week of the ferry crossing the Currituck Sound.

A combination of the coronavirus-related closure of in-person instruction at public schools and drop in gas tax revenue, plus critical budget shortfalls at NCDOT, led the Ferry Division to keep the Knotts Island ferry at the dock.

“It has been an amazing team effort to get this ferry back in operation after being closed since April due to COVID-19,” Hanig said.

Hanig thanked the Currituck County Board of Commissioners who passed a resolution this past week, as well as his colleagues at the General Assembly, Sen. Bob Steinburg and Rep. Ed Goodwin both of Edenton, and Division One state Board of Transportation member Allen Moran for helping get the ferry back online.

“After hearing from the community, we have decided to resume service of this ferry route, which serves an important function for residents, school children and tourists,” said Moran in a statement issued Friday.

The ferry route was primarily started in the 1960s to transport children who live on Knotts Island to schools on the mainland.

Without it, residents have to drive along narrow, two-lane roads through Virginia Beach and Chesapeake to reach the rest of Currituck County.

“Most importantly I want to thank all of the citizens that reached out to me to express their concerns and bring the many reasons that this ferry should be in operation,” Hanig said.

The M/V Gov. James Baxter Hunt, Jr. will have to undergo a Coast Guard inspection prior to service resuming on Wednesday.

The schedule will be as follows:

  • From Currituck: 6 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.
  • From Knotts Island: 6:50 a.m., 10 a.m., Noon, 2 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

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Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.