VDOT News - Fredericksburg


IMMEDIATE - 10:35 a.m.

Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
(540) 656-0321 cell


April 9, 2020

VDOT will cease ferry service for Northern Neck region April 11 in response to COVID-19

FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – 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 Governor 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,” Parker said. “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 is located on Route 604 (Merry Point Road and Ottoman Ferry Road) in Lancaster County and crosses the western end of the Corrotoman River.

The Sunnybank Ferry crosses the Little Wicomico River on Route 644 in Northumberland County.


VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania, and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster, and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; and Essex, Gloucester, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.

Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: April 9, 2020