Washington State Ferries Returns to Vigor for Fourth Newbuild

  • Business & Finance

Washington State Ferries is starting off the New Year with construction of a new Olympic Class ferry.

Namely, WSF signed a Notice to Proceed last week with shipbuilder Vigor Industrial for work on its fourth 144-vehicle ferry, and work is set to begin in January.

Along with the Tokitae, Samish and Chimacum, the fourth Olympic Class ferry will be replacing four of the state’s oldest ferries built during the 1950s and 1960s.

“Our top priority is keeping the ferry system safe and reliable for the millions of commuters, freight haulers and travelers who depend on us every year,” said WSF Chief of Staff Elizabeth Kosa.

The budget to build the vessel is USD 122 million, and delivery is scheduled for mid-2018.

Olympic Class ferries are equipped with the latest emergency-evacuation and fire-suppression systems, two Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant elevators, and wider car-deck lanes that provide more room for passengers to access their vehicles. The vessels’ hull design reduces wake and provides better fuel efficiency, while cleaner burning engines reduce emissions.

The first two Olympic Class ferries have already been delivered to WSF. The third vessel, under construction at Vigor, is on schedule, and will be assigned to the Seattle/Bremerton route in early 2017.

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