MANNS HARBOR, N.C. (AP) -- Dredging in the Hatteras ferry channel won't be complete until mid-April and not the earlier projected date of March 31.

Officials with the state Transportation Department said Friday that bad weather and mechanical problems with the dredge are responsible for the delay. They say the project began in early December and is 75 percent complete.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project will clear a 10- to 12-foot depth along the route between the ferry facilities on Hatteras and Ocracoke.

The dredge completed work in the Rollinson Channel last week and is now working in the northwestern side of the Hatteras Inlet.

Shallow channel conditions forced the suspension of the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route on Jan. 18. An alternate route that takes about 20 minutes longer began Feb. 22.

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