Governor Pat McCrory joined officials from the Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division yesterday to officially christen the division’s newest vessel, the Dredge Manteo.
The 154-foot cutter suction dredge will help keep North Carolina waterways navigable, help stabilize inlets, and support the state’s vital ferry system and emergency routes.
“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,” said Governor McCrory.
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 – able to house a 16-person crew, with a full galley, four bunk rooms and two full bathrooms – 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 NC Highway 12 is out of service due to a storm or other event.