SUFFOLK- The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) by unanimous approval, today voted to name the newest boat in the Jamestown Scotland Ferry system the Powhatan.
There has been a return to the naming of ferries after important historical figures, including the most recent ferry boat Pocahontas, which was built in 1995. Powhatan was Pocahontas’ father and was chief of all the Algonquin tribes in the area.
The CTB naming resolution states the Powhatan represents “a strong name for a strong vessel.”
The new vessel, with a 70-vehicle capacity, is under construction in Pascagoula, Mississippi and is expected to be delivered to VDOT in spring 2018. The name of the new vessel needs to be placed on the boat before it is christened later this year.
The James City County and Surry County Boards of Supervisors both submitted resolutions of support to the CTB for the name Powhatan. The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation also submitted a letter to the CTB encouraging VDOT to utilize the opportunity presented by the ferry naming to “highlight the story of Powhatan in an appropriate way on board the ship.”
The ferry project is included in the commonwealth’s Six-Year-Improvement Plan for 2013-2018, with $2.5 million currently allocated for design, and $25 million allocated for construction in FY 2017-2018.
The Powhatan will replace the ferry boat Virginia which was built in 1936. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry system transports approximately 936,000 vehicles annually and is the only 24-hour, state-run ferry in Virginia.