- Associated Press - Thursday, May 4, 2017

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska transportation officials say the state ferry Tustumena’s return to service has been delayed until mid-July because of extensive repairs required for the 53-year-old vessel.

The ferry is at the Ketchikan shipyard undergoing an annual maintenance that began March 13. State transportation spokeswoman Meadow Bailey says the vessel was originally set to resume service on May 27, but maintenance workers found damaged steel in the engine room.

The Tustumena is now scheduled to be back in service beginning July 18, when it is set to depart from Homer that evening.

Officials say a vessel design has been done to replace the vessel, but funding has not yet been secured.

Officials say affected passengers are being notified about the delay.

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