WSDOT Ferries Division announced the apparent low bidder for a contract to construct a new 50-car vessel based on the Steilacoom II design. The formal bid opening was held March 27. One bid was received from Todd Pacific Shipyards. The proposed bid price is $25,985,125. The WSDOT engineer’s estimate is $16.8m. WSDOT will conduct a bid evaluation over the next few days before announcing an award recommendation.
Construction of the 50-car ferry is scheduled to take approximately 12 months. The new ferry is expected to begin service in May 2009.
The ferry system is building six new ferries over the next four years. Later this year, WSDOT will begin a separate procurement process for two more vessels that will carry between 60 to 80 cars. The new vessels will replace the retired Steel Electric class ferries and could be in service by June 2010 and December 2010 respectively. New 144-car ferries will be under construction by next year. The three 144-car vessels will be used system-wide. The first 144-car ferry is expected to be in service by early 2011.