N.C. Ferry system designated federal marine highway project

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North Carolina Department of Transportation ferry traveling across Hatteras Inlet to Ocracoke Island (Photo: U.S. National Park Service)

MANNS HARBOR (WWAY) — The U.S. Department of Transportation this week announced the North Carolina Ferry System has been designated as a marine highway project by the federal Maritime Administration.

The designation, a first for the state, will allow the ferry system to apply to the Marine Highway Grant Program, which awards federal funding to modernize vessels and improve infrastructure at terminals. This year’s grant program awarded $9.7 million to marine highway projects across the country.

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“We are delighted to be included in the Maritime Administration’s Marine Highway Program,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “This designation will allow us to potentially acquire funding for much-needed projects throughout our system that would otherwise require state assistance.”

The federal program involves 35 other projects nationwide. Marine highway projects are chosen for their importance to local economies, travel times and public safety.