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Commissioner Selects Ketchikan Shipyard to Finish Design, Submit Initial Bid for New Alaska Class Ferry


September 19, 2011
Last updated: Tuesday (09/20/11)

(SitNews) Ketchikan, Alaska – Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Marc Luiken announced today that Alaska Ship & Drydock, the operator of the state-owned Ketchikan Shipyard, was selected as the construction manager/general contractor for the new Alaska Class Ferry.

ASD will work with ADOT&PF to finish the design of the ship along with Elliott Bay Design Group, the state’s architect and engineering contractor. Once the design is complete, ASD will be given the first opportunity to negotiate a contract for construction of the vessel.

"By participating in the design, ASD will have thorough knowledge of the vessel and what it will take to construct it,” Commissioner Luiken said. “ASD can then submit a bid to build the vessel. This puts ASD in a partnership with the state, an arrangement that should limit costly change orders and cost overruns. The new process fulfills our responsibility to maximize the value of public funds while providing an opportunity for economic development and jobs in Alaska.”

U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) in a prepared statement said, “I appreciate the action by the Alaska Department of Transportation selecting an Alaska company to construct the first Alaska Class ferry."

Begich said, “I visited the shipyard and met with its workers when I visited Ketchikan last spring.  They have a very talented workforce. I told them the state should build the Alaska Class Ferry right there. It is clear that whoever builds the first vessel will be in a great position to win contracts for future vessels. Today’s announcement will help keep year-round, high-paying jobs for Alaskans."

Begich said he was also pleased that Alaska Ship & Drydock recently was awarded a $1 million grant from MARAD to purchase new equipment which will help construct the new ferries.

Senator Bert Stedman (R-Sitka) was pleased with the selection of Alaska Ship & Drydock’s Ketchikan Shipyard to be the construction manager and general contractor for the Alaska Class Ferry project.

In a prepared statement Stedman said, “For several years, I’ve worked with Governor Parnell and his administration to advance this important project.” He said, “Today’s announcement shows Alaska’s ferries can be built here in Southeast Alaska.”

The Alaska Class Ferry project will build the next generation of vessels for the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS).  Senator Stedman has been committed to a reliable ferry system that is responsive to communities and the 300,000 passengers who ride the Marine Highway every year.  As Co-Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Stedman worked with legislators and the administration to secure $120 million over the course of several years for construction of the vessel.   

 “I’d like to thank the Governor and the department for their decision. I will continue working with the administration and legislative colleagues to expand transportation and marine construction for our state,” Senator Stedman said.

Stedman said as lead shipyard for the project, Ketchikan Shipyard will partner with DOT&PF to complete the vessel design during the next 12 months and begin discussions on constructing the vessel.

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski was thrilled the Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship & Drydock was getting the $120 million bid.

In a prepared statement Tuesday, Murkowski said, “I welcome Commissioner Luiken’s news that Alaska Ship & Drydock has been chosen to oversee the construction of the new Alaska Class Ferry.  The project could mean up to 200 jobs for Ketchikan whether in direct shipbuilding work or support activities.  Just as importantly, though, the project raises the profile of Alaska’s First City to be the major marine support center it should be.”

ADOT&PF oversees 254 airports, 11 ferries serving 33 communities, 5,700 miles of highway and 660 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska.


Sources of News: 

Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities

Office of U.S. Senator Mark Begich

Office of Senator Bert Stedman

Office of U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski


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