Ferry Expected to Reopen Monday

Elwell Ferry
Elwell Ferry (DOT photo)

After repairs to a pulley and cable, plus low water, Elwell Ferry is expected to finally reopen Monday.

The state-owned ferry crosses the Cape Fear River between Carvers and Kelly. It was recently taken over by a new private contractor, N.C. Rest Area Services. Inspections associated with the new operators turned up major problems with the pulley and cable used to move the ferry across the river.

After those repairs were completed, water levels in the river dropped too low for safe operation, said Andrew Barksdale, spokesman for the Dept. of Transportation.

Barksdale said DOT officials hope the ferry will be back on its regular schedule Monday. Staffing problems with DOT led to shifting the ferry to a private contractor in recent years. Previous contractors suffered the same problems with consistently manning the operation.

Water levels are expected to rise sufficiently in the coming days to allow the ferry to operate without scraping on the ramps on either side.

From March to September, the ferry’s regular hours are 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. From September to march the ferry’s regular hours are 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

For up to the minute information check http://DriveNC.gov, search under Bladen County.


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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].