- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 5, 2014

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state anticipates awarding a construction contract for the new Alaska Class Ferry this summer.

The final design for the new ferry concept should be completed by the end of this month, KTOO reported (https://bit.ly/1fRvJLf).

Department of Transportation Deputy Commissioner Reuben Yost said the state has preliminary estimates from Vigor Alaska in Ketchikan and Elliott Bay Design Group of Seattle.

Yost says if the shipyard and architect are close on the final estimate, the ferries will be built in Ketchikan.

Yost said the most important thing is for the project to stay within its $117 million budget.

“When we have the contract design complete we will get estimates from both entities. That’s in early March,” Yost told the state House Transportation Committee Tuesday. “Then based on that, we will either be negotiating a maximum price with the shipyard or we will be advertising.”

In late 2012, when Gov. Sean Parnell announced the scaled down Alaska Class Ferry design, he said his goal was to have “Alaskans build Alaska’s ferries in Alaska.”

“I think everybody’s got a vested interest in seeing the vessel built in Alaska,” said Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins, D-Sitka. “Presumably we would still build the vessel in Alaska even if the maximum price is a little bit higher than competitor shipyards in the Lower 48, just because we’re keeping dollars in state.”

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Information from: KTOO-FM, https://www.ktoo.org

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