The U.S. Coast Guard says the longer, alternative ferry route between Hatteras and Ocracoke will become the permanent course because of continued shoaling in the traditional channel.
The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports the Coast Guard announced Friday that ferries will run the hour-long trip through the Barney Slough route rather than risk running aground on the former path, which has been closed since December 2013.
Tim Haas, spokesman for the North Carolina Ferry Division, said while the division isn't giving up on the original route, it does have to deal with reality.
The Army Corps of Engineers has struggled to keep the established, 40-minute route open since early last year. Unsuccessful dredging efforts have cost the corps nearly $2 million since January, exhausting the budget.