New Ferry for Willamette River

Thursday, March 02, 2000
Daniel Matheny IV, built in 1959, carries commuters, farm machinery and vehicles along the Willamette River, north of Salem, Ore. After more than 40 years connecting Marion and Yamhill Counties, the ferry has reached the end of its useful life. Working with Otak, Inc., designers of an all-new cable guide system, Seattle-based Elliott Bay Design Group (EBDG) was selected by Marion County ? the ferry operator ? and the Oregon Department of Transportation to design a replacement vessel. "While the new vessel has to conform to most of the same criteria as its predecessor, especially the ability to travel upriver through the locks" said EBDG project manager Brian King, "the owners also want to increase capacity and improve operating efficiency." The new Subchapter T USCG-inspected vessel will increase car-carrying capacity from six to nine, and passenger capacity from 29 to 49. It will have improved deck-loading capacity, plus a hinged control module to allow the boat to pass through the locks. In addition, an onboard generator set will allow the ferry to operate without the current trolley-like external power source. To preclude pollution of the river, the vessel is being designed entirely without the use of hydraulic power, relying on pneumatic deck machinery instead. A containment system and holding tank will collect any vehicle spills or excessive soil that may fall on the deck. Design work is scheduled for completion in May on the double-ended steel vessel with construction bids to be taken thereafter. It is anticipated the new ferry will be delivered in the spring of 2001. Daniel Matheny V will measure 63 ft. long - three ft. longer than Daniel Matheny IV, with a beam of 32.7 ft. and a depth of four ft.

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