Reprinted by permission from the Island Free Press
Gov. Pat McCrory joined officials from the Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division Thursday in Manns Harbor to officially christen the division’s newest vessel, the dredge Manteo.
The 154-foot state-of-the-art pipeline dredge will help keep North Carolina waterways navigable, help stabilize inlets, and support the state’s vital ferry system and emergency routes.
“We have remained focused on building and maintaining vital connections to jobs, education, health care and recreation,” McCrory said. “Our state’s connections across the water are just as critical as our highways. By ensuring that these waterways remain navigable, this new dredge is not only crucial for the mobility of this region, but also to its tourism industry, economy and continued ability to attract new opportunity.”
The Manteo is capable of dredging a channel to a depth of 30 feet. It is equipped with automation, including sensors to measure the amount of material dredged, and software to map the exact location where the vessel does its work. The vessel is able to house a 16-person crew, with a full galley, four bunk rooms and two full bathrooms.
The Manteo will replace the Dredge Carolina, which was built in 1968.
Once in service, the Manteo will immediately go to work keeping North Carolina’s ferry channels clear, from the Cape Fear River to Currituck Sound. It will also maintain an emergency route between Stumpy Point and Rodanthe, a route used when Highway 12 is out of service due to a storm or other event.
“Like its Croatan chief namesake, the Manteo will help North Carolinians navigate the rivers and sounds of eastern North Carolina safely and efficiently,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It will be a vital component of the Ferry System for many years to come.”