Service on the the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County will be suspended through early November 2021 for a maintenance project to clean and paint the ferry vessel in drydock.
The vessel is painted every five years as part of its routine upkeep.
Ferry service was planned to be suspended on the day of the maintenance project’s contract start date, which is Tuesday, Sept. 7. However, the ferry is currently out of service due to minor vessel damage sustained during a docking last week. The ferry will remain out of service this week and over the Labor Day holiday weekend, before it is taken to drydock next week.
Maintenance work was postponed from spring to fall 2021 to allow ferry service to continue through its busiest seasons. Since the painting is performed outdoors, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) was able to postpone work to the fall, but this work is not recommended to occur during winter months.
“Riding the Merry Point Ferry saves an estimated 20 minutes in travel time when compared with the available land route, and we know this time savings will be missed by residents, businesses and visitors while the vessel is being refurbished,” said David Beale, P.E., VDOT Northern Neck Resident Engineer. “VDOT and our contractor understand how critical it is to complete this work as quickly as possible, and return an improved, restored vessel for the community’s use.”