Officials adding temporary vehicle restrictions to ferry routes

MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (WITN) – Shallow water is forcing officials to put a temporary restriction on the size and weight of vehicles traveling on two Pamlico Sound ferry routes.

The N.C. Ferry System will not allow any vehicles over 40 feet to take the Cedar Island - Ocracoke and Swan Quarter - Ocracoke routes. The NCDOT says each ferry will only carry a maximum of 25 vehicles at a time.

"The safety of our passengers and crew is always our top priority," said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. "We hate to impose these restrictions, but it's the only way we can continue to operate the Pamlico Sound routes safely until channel conditions improve."

Officials say these restrictions are expected to stay in place for the next 1 to 2 weeks until the Army Corps of Engineers can complete a dredging operation in the channel.