Log In   ·   Become A Member

North Fork Ferry Company: Raising Ramps To Accommodate Changing Tides

Numerous residents and visitors use the ferry service in Greenport and Shelter Island on a daily basis. (Photo: Eileen Casey)

Faced with the unfortunate reality of addressing climate change and the effects on low and high tides in recent years, particularly during or following storms, an issue has arisen requiring the attention of the North Ferry Company (NFC).

With predicted rising sea levels and high tide marks only increasing each year in Long Island waters, the existing ferry ramps are simply unable to connect and secure the NFC ferries following relatively minor storms. Given that the ferry is only one of two means to vacate Greenport (the other being by road vehicles), as well as being the only link between Greenport and Shelter Island, and tide projections are only slated to increase in the future, NFC is committed to addressing the issue now.

The not-for-profit NFC plans to undertake a construction project in early 2020 in Greenport that will raise the heel of the ramps by 16 inches, and lengthen two ramps thus allowing for easier embarking and disembarking vehicles to use the ferry during both low and high tides. Presently, the project is projected to exceed more than $550,000.

According to Bridg Hunt, General Manager of NFC, who just returned from Maine where a new ferry is being built, "We want to be able to get ferry users on and off the ferries to work or home as expeditiously and smoothly as possible. In addition, emergency services rely on us so we are trying to be as proactive here as possible. The rising tides have been noted over the past few years, but last year (2018) we were forced to suspend our service on two occasions following very minor weather conditions. This interruption to service has usually only occurred during severe or hurricane storm situations."

Most of the project will be handled by Costello Marine Contracting of Greenport according to Hunt. "Strategizing has been very important to formulate a schedule that keeps the amount of construction time to a minimum. Costello Marine has already begun work on the bulkheads as we just received permits from the DEC.

It is our goal to complete what work can be done now without having to close one of our two slips during the season, and beginning January 2020 through the winter we will close one slip and then the other to complete the work as quickly and safely as possible."

Numerous residents and visitors use the ferry service on a daily basis, and Hunt indicated that after a listening session with the public, changes will be made to better accommodate all ferry users, and in particular commuters, who are trying to make connections with both the Hampton Jitney and the LIRR.

"Effective July 1st, the 5:10 a.m. boat will now depart at 5:00 a.m., Monday through Friday to more easily connect to the train, and the 5:40 a.m. boat will now depart at 5:30 a.m., year-round, to more easily connect to the Hampton Jitney. On Saturdays and Sundays the 5:30 a.m. will be the first boat," Hunt advised. These changes will allow commuters to have a bit more time to connect with the 5:25 a.m. LIRR train and the 5:55 a.m. Hampton Jitney.

The South Ferry Co., which operates the Shelter Island Ferry terminal, owned by Shelter Island Heights Property Owner's Corp., is also facing similar issues as a result of rising sea levels.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is a banana?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Southrifty Drug 54 Jagger Lane, Southampton Village
Southrifty Drug is a small, neighborhood pharmacy with limited shelf space, and we have to be very selective about which over-the-counter items we carry. As a result you'll find a no nonsense concentration of very effective, high quality and useful products on our shelves. In this new section, we feature a number of these products that we feel are especially worthy of your consideration.

New York Title Abstract Services, Inc.
We are a title insurance services company dedicated to promptly delivering fully compliant and accurate reports, and title insurance, for residential and commercial real estate throughout New York State. Headquartered in the Hamptons, our professional team has extensive real estate experience and understands the business from all sides including title insurance, legal, sales, governmental, banking, and lending regulations.

Hamilton Hoge
As the owner’s representative our practice encompasses all aspects of a project from pre-purchase property due diligence, program development iterations, advisement on systems, analyze contracts/vendors, critical path analysis, feasibility and schedule. The strength of our approach is in facilitating organized communication. We strongly analyze all representations and warranties for the protection and benefit of our client.

The Citarella Standard. We’re passionate about sourcing and selling the world’s best seafood. When you order our fresh seafood online, what you receive always reflects the unrivaled standard of our markets. It’s hand-prepared, never frozen, and shipped overnight. 631-283-6600.