JUNEAU, Alaska – The Alaska Marine Highway System announced this week that Alaska Ship and Drydock LLC has officially signed on as a partner with the State of Alaska to design the Alaska Class ferry.
Which does not mean, necessarily, that Alaska Ship will build the ferry.
The contract signed between the state and ASD designates the shipyard as the Construction Manager/General Contractor (CM/GC) for the design phase of the Alaska Class Ferry project.
Alaska Ship and Drydock operates the Ketchikan Shipyard under a long-term private/public partnership agreement with the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
“It’s important to note that the signed agreement between the state and ASD does not guarantee that the shipyard will build the ferry,” said Michael Neussl, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities deputy commissioner for marine operations, in a statement, “however, ASD will have the ability to make a guaranteed maximum price proposal for the construction contract as the design nears completion.”
The state has appropriated $120 million toward the Alaska Class Ferry project, according to the release. The new ferry is intended to enhance the ability of AMHS to serve existing routes more efficiently. The vessel is being designed to serve shorter routes, thus allowing the remainder of the mainline fleet to run long-distance routes more efficiently.
“I’m pleased to see that the design work for this new vessel can now begin in earnest using the CM/GC process,” said Michael Neussl, Alaska Department of Transportation & Public Facilities deputy commissioner for marine operations, in a statement. “ASD, along with Elliott Bay Design Group, the state’s naval architect and engineering firm for the project, can now get down to designing the ship that will serve Alaskans for years to come.”
Alaska Class Ferry project information may be found online at dot.alaska.gov/amhs/alaska_class.