- Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2020

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - The state transportation department has contracted with a company to provide service to small southeast Alaska communities affected by a lack of state ferry service.

The contract with Allen Marine says it is intended to help the state provide service in March. It lists two routes. One, which would start and end in Juneau and include Kake, Angoon and Tenakee, is scheduled to run this Saturday and Tuesday, the department said in a release.

Another route identified in the contract is Juneau to Sitka and back to Juneau, though the department has not announced plans for that yet.

The contract cost is for $22,150, with an option to negotiate other routes.

Cuts to the ferry system budget have been compounded by maintenance and other issues. The department has said the Tazlina is scheduled to return to service next week. The Columbia is expected to assume sailings in mid-April originally scheduled for the Matanuska, which the department said is out of service due to a mechanical issue.

The department has said it’s been working on options for passenger and freight service.

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