The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) announced today that Ketchikan-based Alaska Ship and Drydock (ASD) has been contracted to design the Alaska Class Ferry. The Alaska Class Ferry project will modernize our state’s ferry system, serving shorter routes and allowing our fleet’s larger vessels to run longer distances.

I’m pleased an Alaska company has been contracted to design the new ferry. ASD operates the Ketchikan Shipyard in partnership with the Alaska Industrial Development Authority (AIDEA).  The contract will give the Ketchikan Shipyard first option to bid on constructing the vessel.  This would be the first state ferry built in Alaska, and a major achievement for our state’s ship-building industry.

I thank the Governor and the Department of Transportation & Public Facilities for their decision, and for helping bolster a major industry for coastal Alaska.  The Legislature worked with the Administration to secure $120 million for to construct the first Alaska Class Ferry.  I will continue working with colleagues and the Governor to set aside funding for new vessels to make Alaska’s marine transportation system more efficient.

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