NCDOT announces new ferry being built

(NCDOT photo)

RALEIGH - The N.C. Department of Transportation will have a new addition to its ferry division.

The DOT awarded a $9.7 million contract for construction of a new ferry, which is scheduled to be delivered by March 1, 2019. It will be the first new car ferry since the M/V Sea Level was christened in 2012

"This is a great first step in phasing out our smaller boats and replacing them with larger ones," said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas in a press releae. "Eventually it will allow us to increase our capacity with the same number of scheduled trips."

The new ferry will be 183 feet long and have room for 38 regular-sized vehicles. It will replace the M/V Thomas A. Baum, a 22-year-old Hatteras-class ferry that carries 26 vehicles. The contract was awarded to Bollinger Shipyards of Lockport, Louisiana. The project was funded by State Transportation Improvement Project (STIP) money awarded by the Albemarle Rural Planning Organization.