Dredging in Big Foot Slough in Pamlico Sound began Wednesday to make traveling between Ocracoke and Cedar Island and Swan Quarter safer for larger vessels.
Dare County and state officials seek flexibility in being able to dredge persistently shoaled channels that are affecting transportation to and from Ocracoke Island.
Dare County Waterways Commission addressed during a meeting held online Monday the shoaling in Hatteras Inlet’s South Ferry Channel.
The Elizabeth II, a 16th-century representative sailing ship moored at Roanoke Island Festival Park, has been unable to sail for years because of shoaling at the entrance to Manteo Harbor, but a long-delayed dredging project now appears likely.
Dare County Waterways Commission is working out how to have a shoaled area on the west end of the South Ferry Channel dredged before the busy season.
Two former Manteo officials have been charged with felony bribery for an alleged kickback deal related to a town-authorized dredging project.
Discussions during a recent meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission indicate that persistent threats to the Ocracoke highway and north-end ferry dock have become more urgent.
With attention long spent on navigation in Hatteras Inlet, Dare County Waterways Commission discussions recently turned to Oregon Inlet, where shoaling at the old bridge is too severe for dredge access, and other problem areas.
Dare County’s recent decision to handle the dredging of Manteo channel, which the county manager said is “good for everybody,” will allow the state-owned Elizabeth II currently stuck at its Roanoke Island Festival Park mooring to sail.
Manteo is seeking reimbursement for $15,247.25 from a contractor that the town contends hauled away without authorization 71 truckloads of dredge material from the town’s disposal site.
A private contractor is expected to be selected this month to carry out the state’s new $15 million plan for addressing shoaling problems in shallow-draft inlets.
A project to dredge the emergency ferry channel in Rodanthe Harbor, a critical route for Hatteras Island when roads or bridges are inaccessible, has been complicated by the discovery of a broken culvert.