RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a contract to build two new replacement ferries to go into service in 2020.
The department said in a news release that Gulf Island Shipyards of Houma, Louisiana, will build the two ferries for just under $23 million. The two new ferries, tentatively named the Avon and the Salvo, will carry 40 vehicles each and replace the smaller Hatteras-class ferries Kinnakeet and Chicamacomico.
A new, 38-vehicle river-class ferry is scheduled for delivery in March 2019 to replace the Thomas A. Baum on the Hatteras Inlet route. The Ocracoke Express passenger ferry between Hatteras and Ocracoke villages is also slated to begin operations next May.
The North Carolina Ferry System operates 21 boats on seven regular routes across five bodies of water.