Senate bill calls for new ferries

OLYMPIA — State legislators Monday took their first step on the path to building new vehicle ferries for the Keystone-Port Townsend run.

The Senate Transportation Committee considered legislation authorizing building up to three vessels to replace the Steel Electric-class boats pulled off the route in November.

Senators held a hearing on Senate Bill 6794, which requires these boats to be built in Washington and carry no more than 100 vehicles.

It is expected the first boat built will be a Steilacoom II-class ferry capable of carrying 54 vehicles. This will be slightly modified version of what is now used in Pierce County.

The state is now leasing one of the Steilacoom-style vessels from Pierce County in hopes of resuming auto-ferry service on the run in February. Before the leased boat is deployed, some alterations will be made to it. The craft will then undergo U.S. Coast Guard-monitored sea trials.

State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond said bids for a new boat will go out Feb. 15 and a contract awarded in mid-March, assuming the Legislature approves the funding. If it goes as planned, a new boat could be ready in April 2009.

Gov. Christine Gregoire is proposing $100 million be shifted from other projects to pay for the new ferries.

“We’re all very focused on getting this boat built,” Hammond said.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Snohomish residents Barbara Bailey, right, and Beth Jarvis sit on a gate atop a levee on Bailey’s property on Monday, May 13, 2024, at Bailey Farm in Snohomish, Washington. Bailey is concerned the expansion of nearby Harvey Field Airport will lead to levee failures during future flood events due to a reduction of space for floodwater to safely go. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Harvey Field seeks to reroute runway in floodplain, faces new pushback

Snohomish farmers and neighbors worry the project will be disruptive and worsen flooding. Ownership advised people to “read the science.”

IAM District 751 machinists join the picket line to support Boeing firefighters during their lockout from the company on Thursday, May 16, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Amid lockout, Boeing, union firefighters return to bargaining table

The firefighters and the planemaker held limited negotiations this week: They plan to meet again Monday, but a lockout continues.

A “No Shooting” sign on DNR land near Spada Lake is full of bullet holes on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, along Sultan Basin Road near Sultan, Washington. People frequent multiple locations along the road to use firearms despite signage warning them not to. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
County pumps the brakes on planned Sultan shooting range

The $47 million project, in the works for decades, has no partner or funding. County parks officials are reconsidering its viability.

NAACP President Janice Greene won last year’s Elson S. Floyd Award. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
NAACP president announces run for Everett mayor

Mayor Cassie Franklin now has two serious challengers in 2025. Janice Greene, a former Boeing official, joined the race Tuesday.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Tacoma-based MultiCare’s partnership expands reach in Snohomish County

MultiCare and Overlake say they will “invest significantly to meet the growing health care needs of the Eastside and North Sound communities.”

A BNSF train crosses Grove St/72nd St, NE in Marysville, Washington on March 17, 2022. Marysville recently got funding for design work for an overcrossing at the intersection. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Eighth Street in Marysville closed 8 days for railroad repairs

The road was closed this week between Cedar Avenue and Delta Avenue in Marysville.

A mountain goats in the North Cascades east of Marblemount in August 2017. (Caleb Hutton / The Herald)
Ahead of grizzly arrival, wildlife advocates assess past translocations

Moving animals has helped struggling populations to rebound. And advocates point to past examples as evidence that “it’s not ethical to do nothing.”

Julie Timm
Sound Transit’s $375K payout to ex-CEO didn’t buy help

Board members said Julie Timm would give professional advice to them or a future CEO after leaving, but she hasn’t been called upon.

FILE -- An engine on a Boeing 767 jet aircraft, at a Boeing facility in Everett, Wash., March 7, 2012. The Boeing 737 engine that failed on Southwest Flight 1380 is not the only one that has caught the eye of regulators: Engines on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner and 767 have also failed, prompting questions about their design and inspection procedures. (Stuart Isett/The New York Times)
Boeing 767, built in Everett, gets 5-year lifeline from Congress

Boeing would have been forced to end production of the 767 Freighter in 2027 due to new emissions rules if not for the extension.

Snohomish County Jail. (Herald file)
Inmate, 51, dies at Snohomish County Jail

Around 3 p.m., corrections staff called 911 about an inmate, who became unresponsive as firefighters arrived. He died at the scene.

With the Olympic mountains in the background, Boeing's 777x lifts off from Paine Field on its first flight, to Boeing Field in Seattle, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 in Everett, Wash. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
1 dead, dozens injured after turbulence on Boeing plane

A Singapore Airlines flight from London was diverted to Bangkok, where more than 70 people were being treated for injuries.

Two people fight on the side of I-5 neat Marysville. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
Idaho man identified in fatal trooper shooting on I-5 near Everett

The deceased man was Marvin Arellano, 31, of Nampa, Idaho, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.