State aims to stop ferries from leaning when empty

  • By Jerry Cornfield
  • Friday, February 15, 2013 5:35pm
  • Local News

Washington State Ferries will soon take the lean out of its three newest ferries.

Adjustments will be made so the Chetzemoka, Salish and Kennewick will no longer list when the boats are empty, Assistant Secretary of Transportation David Moseley said Thursday. The work involves adding tons of ballast on each vessel.

“It’s a simple fix,” he said.

Customers, crew members and lawmakers have complained about the list on the 64-car vessels since the first of the boats, the Chetzemoka, went into service in 2010. They don’t like looking at it and worry it will be a cause of future maintenance problems.

Moseley said he made the decision in response to the concerns.

“We haven’t done it because we don’t think and we still don’t think it creates a long-term problem for the vessels,” he said.

Rep. Norma Smith, R-Clinton, applauded the news.

“It’s a topic of discussion that I’ve been having with the Department of Transportation for several months now,” she said. “I’m pleased they are going to take action.”

The boats are designed to lean when there are no vehicles because not all the weight is evenly distributed.

On each boat, the stairs, elevator and exhaust pipes are grouped together in one spot which puts more weight on that side of the boat, explained Cotty Fay, chief naval architect for the Washington State Ferries. When cars and trucks load, it balances out the vessel, he said.

The state plans to pour steel shot – a granular material used for sandblasting – into existing metal box-like containers on top of each boat’s two fuel tanks, Fay said. It’s going to take about 180,000 pounds of steel shot for the vessels.

Moseley estimated the fix will cost $300,000 and be finished by the end of June.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Pair charged with first-degree robbery in marijuana theft

A man was shot in the head during a holdup that was supposed to net about an ounce of pot.

Puffy-coated robbery suspect arrested on Whidbey

The suspect apparently wore the same outfit in 2 robberies at the same place in less than 2 weeks.

Planning — and patience — can ease Thanksgiving travel

The Washington State Department of Transportation offers information to help guide planning.

Injection sites still banned — County Council doesn’t budge

At a public hearing, more than 15 people said they are opposed to sanctioned areas for using heroin.

Dog shot at Mountlake Terrace house during burglary

A suspect was arrested Friday in Everett for investigation of burglary and first-degree animal cruelty.

Most Read