Delivery of new crane to port will close part of river Monday

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Two neo-Panamax cranes make their way to the Port of Wilmington in March 2018. (Photo: NC Ports)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Boaters be warned. The delivery of a new crane for the Port of Wilmington will close a long stretch of the Cape Fear River from Wilmington southward Monday.

The Coast Guard says a temporary safety zone is scheduled on the Cape Fear River for the the 776-foot motor vessel Zhen Hua 25.

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The temporary safety zone will close a large portion of the Cape Fear River to vessel traffic for approximately five to seven hours affecting all navigable waters about 26 miles south of the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge until the ship is safely moored at the port, according to a news release.

The Coast Guard says commercial vessels moored at facilities within the safety zone must depart prior to midnight Sunday, and no vessel is authorized to moor, transit or remain within the river while the safety zone is in effect.

The Coast Guard says it will enforce a second safety zone for approximately two to four hours on separate days for the offload of a Neo-Panamax crane. The zone will include all of the waters within a 200-yard radius around the motor vessel Zhen Hua 25 while moored at Berth Eight at the port.



Vessel traffic south of the port will not be impacted during the second safety zone.

In a news release yesterday, the port said ship delivering the crane will start up the river around 7:30 a.m. Monday and arrive around 10:30 a.m.

This is the third neo-Panamax crane the port has received. The crane is part of NC Ports’ $200 million capital improvements program. The addition of the third crane will allow the Port of Wilmington to accommodate two ultra-large container vessels side-by-side in a two-berth operation.

If you have any questions concerning the closure of the Cape Fear River, please contact the Waterways Management Division at NCmarineevents@uscg.mil or Coast Guard personnel at (910) 772-2230.