State awards contract for crew quarters aboard Hubbard

 

January 20, 2022 | View PDF



The Alaska Department of Transportation on Jan. 14 announced it had awarded a $15 million contract to Vigor’s Ketchikan shipyard for installation of living quarters aboard the state ferry Hubbard, which will enable the ship to carry a change of crew for longer runs.

The 280-foot-long Hubbard and its sister ship Tazlina were built at state specifications at a cost of about $60 million each at the Ketchikan shipyard and launched a few years ago, but have seen limited service due to the ferry system’s tight budget, lack of crew quarters and other constraints.

The Tazlina has been used sparingly but the Hubbard has never been placed into service — it is tied up in Ketchikan.

In addition to the lack of crew quarters, which limited their use on runs longer than 12 hours, neither ferry had a side-loading door, blocking their use for transporting vehicles and docking in several smaller Southeast communities.

The state spent $4.4 million more than a year ago to add side doors to the Tazlina and Hubbard.

Neither vessel is on the Alaska Marine Highway Schedule for this year, though state officials have looked at putting the Tazlina into temporary service to help cover for the Matanuska, which has been delayed for winter overhaul work in the Ketchikan shipyard.

The addition of crew quarters will enable the Hubbard to reach more ports, “increasing systemwide flexibility,” the Department of Transportation said in a prepared statement Jan. 15. In particular, crew quarters will allow the ship to make same-day Juneau-Haines-Skagway round-trip sailings.

In addition to crew quarters, the contract work will include installation of a galley and mess spaces on the upper deck, and other improvements, the Department of Transportation said.

The Hubbard and Tazlina can each carry up to 300 passengers and more than four dozen vehicles.

The department on Jan. 14 also announced it had awarded a $9.4 million contract to JAG Alaska, which operates at the Seward shipyard, for upgrades and repairs to the 58-year-old Tustemena.

“Upgrades include refurbishing the main vehicle elevator, new exterior hull coatings, steel piping replacements including black and gray water drains, bilge and ballast systems, ballast piping and valves, LED lighting upgrades and promenade deck upgrades.”

The department said the work will help extend the ship’s service life until a replacement vessel is built, which could take five or six years. The Tustemena generally serves Gulf of Alaska and Southwest Alaska ports.

 

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