Chesapeake Shipbuilding Corp
., based in Salisbury, will build a six-car ferry. The estimated cost: $931,000. Work on the dock, piling
, bulkheads and piers will be done by George and Lynch Inc. at a cost of $2.1 million.
An estimated 50,000 vehicles cross the river by ferry each year, said Tina Shockley, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.
For years, some suggested a bridge would be cheaper to build and operate, but the ferry is so steeped in history and local tradition that few area residents can imagine life without it.
The new one, which will be named after former state Rep. Tina Fallon of Seaford, will be similar in design -- with a flat deck for vehicles and a pilothouse. It will be able to carry six vehicles at a time, Shockley said. The Virginia C holds three.
The new vessel will be about 94 feet long and built to comply with U.S. Coast Guard regulations.
While the old ferry will continue to operate, there will be some closings during improvements to the landings.
Once the new ferry is built in September 2008, the old one will be auctioned, Shockley said. The trip across the Nanticoke will remain free of charge.
The new ferry will be cable-operated as is the current one, but also will be equipped with a rudder in case it breaks free from the cable.
Source: Delmarva Now