SOUTHPORT — The ferry connecting this Brunswick County town and Fort Fisher in New Hanover County is expected to be out of service for several weeks because of a mechanical failure associated with the ramp system at the Southport terminal, the North Carolina Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.
The ramp system, which includes several cables, counterweights and the ramp itself failed Tuesday. Without the system in place, it is impossible to load and offload vehicles to and from the ferries, NCDOT said in a press release.
When a cable broke, the ramp fell and broke another cable, the State Port Pilot of Southport reported Tuesday via Facebook. A 13.5-ton counterweight fell and will require a crane to retrieve.
Repair work was to begin immediately, NCDOT said. While the route is offline, motorists can use N.C. 87 and U.S. 17 to travel between Southport and the Wilmington area, including Fort Fisher.