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The National Park Service has approved a plan submitted by the North Carolina Dept, of Transportation to construct improvements to support a Hatteras-Ocracoke Passenger Ferry during the peak tourist season from May through September.
The NCDOT plans to begin construction on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands during the 2017/2018 winter season, according to a recent NPS press release. Ocracoke’s portion of the plan is within the boundaries of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and required a special use permit.
Recently, the N.C. Ferry Division awarded a contract to build one passenger ferry to Armstrong Marine, Swansboro. See story here.
The SUP will authorize NCDOT to construct several improvements including:
The existing Hatteras ferry terminal space will be converted into two additional parking areas to accommodate passenger vehicles and NCDOT ferry division employees.
A new open-air passenger waiting facility will be constructed in front of the Ocracoke Visitor Center to shelter passenger ferry users from the sun and rain.
Sidewalk improvements will be constructed to connect the passenger waiting area to the Ocracoke Visitor Center and ferry dock to create safe passageways for travelers.
A transit pullout area in front of the Ocracoke Visitor Center will be constructed to allow for safe pickup and drop-off of passenger ferry users.
A new restroom facility will be constructed behind the Ocracoke Visitor Center on an existing trailer foundation to augment existing restroom facilities.
The existing boardwalk/ramp at the Ocracoke Visitor Center will be relocated to the right side of the deck area.
Stan Austin, the director of the Southeast Region of the National Park Service, approved the “Finding of No Significant Impact” (FONSI), according to an NPS press release.
Copies of the Environmental Assessment and the FONSI can be found on the NPS Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/caha_NCDOTpassengerferry.