The Chappy Ferry, which provides daily vehicle and passenger service across Edgartown Harbor, will transport only passengers next week, from Sunday, April 17 to Sunday, April 24, while the vehicle access ramp on the Chappaquiddick side is removed and repaired.
In a conversation with The Times earlier this month, ferry owner and captain Peter Wells said he elected to have the needed work completed during school vacation week, when many people are away and children will not have to travel to school.
During that week, he said, “It feels like everybody’s gone.”
Mr. Wells said a “small handful” of high school students live on Chappy, and approximately a dozen elementary-age students.
Mr. Wells has worked with the police and fire departments to have procedures in place to handle any emergencies that might arise while vehicles are unable to make the crossing to and from Chappy. A town ambulance will be placed on the small island. In the event someone needs medical care, an ambulance will back up into the slip on the Chappy side so the individual can be transported to a waiting ambulance on the other side.
Overnight parking will be available in town for Chappy residents who wish to leave a car on the Edgartown side of the ferry, except for those parking spots on North Water Street which are designated as parking spots for the Edgartown Post Office, which is temporarily operating out of the Carnegie building.
The alternative to ferry travel is a ride along Norton Point Beach, the ribbon of sand that connects Katama to Chappy, which is managed by The Trustees of Reservations. Four-wheel drive is required to travel along the county-owned barrier beach. The required oversand vehicle permit will be waived for the week, the Trustees said.
The ramp is expected to be back in use by the end of the day Sunday, April 24. Mr Wells recommended that anyone from Chappaquiddick making Steamship Authority reservations do so on one of the later-running boats.