Artist’s rendering of the new river-class ferry to be built for the NCDOT Ferry Division.

MANNS HARBOR – The North Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a $9.7 million contract for construction of a new river class vehicle ferry for the N.C. Ferry Division.

The vessel is due to be delivered by March 1, 2019.

“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 statement. “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 serve as a replacement for the 22-year-old M/V Thomas A. Baum, a 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.

Once built, the new vessel will be the Ferry Division’s first new car ferry since the M/V Sea Level was christened in 2012.

The M/V Frisco is a 26-vehicle ferry similar to the M/V Baum, which will be replaced with a new, larger ferry in 2019. Photo: Connie Leinbach
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