By Katya Yefimova Herald Writer
EVERETT — The state’s newest ferry, Chetzemoka, took its first journey Saturday to the Everett Shipyard.
The Washington state Department of Transportation towed its new 64-vehicle vessel up Puget Sound from Todd Pacific Shipyards on Seattle’s Harbor Island for final outfitting and system testing, transportation spokeswoman Marta Coursey said in a press release.
Crews will continue work on the ferry for several more months.
The $76.5 million ferry is expected to go into service this summer on the Port Townsend-Keystone route, according to the state Ferries’ Web site. The vessel is named after a Jamestown S’Klallam tribal chief who was a friend to early settlers in the area. A Port Townsend park also bears his name.
Washington State Ferries plans to build two or three more 64-vehicle ferries in the next few years, with the first two serving the Port Townsend-Keystone route. They are expected to reduce the number of weather cancellations on the route and improve service.
The second ferry is scheduled to be built next spring. The state Transportation Commission is currently accepting proposals to name the ferry. One of the names being considered is Squi Qui, submitted by the city of Coupeville and the Swinomish Tribe, according to the commission’s Web site. Squi Qui was a Lower Skagit tribal leader and a signer of the Point Elliot Treaty.
Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, email@example.com.