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Bid awarded for construction of new ferry

(WCTI file photo)

OCRACOKE VILLAGE, Hyde County - The North Carolina Department of Transportation awarded a $4.15 million contract to Armstrong Marine Inc. to construct a 98-passenger catamaran-style ferry that will run the Hatteras to Ocracoke Village route beginning next summer.

The boat will be constructed at Armstrong Marine's shipyard in Swansboro. It is slated to be completed by the end of April 2018.

"Although we've been laying the groundwork for some time now, this contract officially puts the passenger ferry project on the public's radar," said Interim Ferry Division Director Jed Dixon said in a press release. "We are hoping that by this time next year, direct passenger ferry service to Ocracoke Village will be up and running."

The ferry will run between Hatteras and Silver Lake Harbor, allowing passengers to disembark in the center of Ocracoke Village. At that location, Hyde County plans to run a new shuttle service in conjunction with the passenger ferry.

A good chunk of the project funding comes from a Federal Lands Access Program grant. That grant also covers infrastructure improvements at Hatteras and Ocracoke to better accommodate ferry passengers.

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