- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

HATTERAS, N.C. (AP) - Transportation officials plan to check again to see if the channel in the Hatteras Inlet along the Outer Banks is deep enough to allow ferry boats to pass.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dredge deepening the channel between Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island is leaving Monday, and the agency will immediately begin test runs with its ferries.

Ferries between the islands have had to take an alternate route which is about 20 minutes longer since December when shallow areas in the channel were discovered.

The dredging began on May 26. Crews thought they finished on June 12, but more shallow areas were found.

Ocracoke Island is only accessible by air and ferry.

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