FREDERICKSBURG—Service by the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and the Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County will be suspended until further notice beginning Saturday, April 11. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is temporarily ceasing this service to protect passengers and employees.
Because of the ferries’ small size, it is difficult to adhere to the social distancing practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health on board the ferries. Under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Stay-at-Home Order, travel currently is limited to essential trips only—for essential workers to get to and from work. There is a 20-minute land route option for ferry users during this temporary closure.
“We are temporarily stopping ferry service to protect the health and safety of our passengers and operators,” said Marcie Parker, P.E., VDOT Fredericksburg District engineer. “We know these routes save travel time, but it is important to recognize that there is a land route option. We look forward to restoring this service to the Northern Neck when conditions are more favorable.”
The Merry Point and Sunnybank ferries are cable-guided vessels. Each ferry requires one crew member to operate. Ferry operators are employed by a VDOT contractor.
The Merry Point Ferry crosses the western end of the Corrotoman River on Merry Point and Ottoman Ferry roads in Lancaster County.
The Sunnybank Ferry crosses the Little Wicomico River on Ferry and Sunnybank roads in Northumberland County.