Ocracoke-mainland ferries stay on alternate schedule as 24-hour dredging continues

Silver Lake Ferry Terminal in Ocracoke village on Sept. 6, 2019. [NCDOT image]

The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division is extending the alternate schedule on Pamlico Sound between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke through Monday as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues 24-hour dredging to combat shoaling issues in the ferry channel just outside Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor.

The schedule through Monday, April 19, weather permitting, is as follows:

Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m.
Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30 a.m., 4:30 p.m.
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 7 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 10 a.m., 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’ Dredge Murden and Dredge Merritt are currently teaming up in the Bigfoot Slough channel to perform 24-hour dredging. On Monday, the Ferry Division will make a test run in the channel with its largest vessel, the M/V Swan Quarter. If water depths and channel widths are at acceptable levels, the Ferry Division will resume its regular schedule on both routes Tuesday.

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