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November 28, 2008

WSDOT set to accept Todd bid for one ferry

Although it's not yet been made official, Washington State Ferries will accept Todd Pacific Shipyard's bid to build one 64-car ferry for the Keystone-Port Townsend route, State Senator Mary Margaret Haugen told the Island County Council of Governments Nov. 26, according to the Whidbey Examiner.

"The bid has not been [made official], but the decision was made yesterday; we will be going ahead with one boat," Haugen said, adding that the announcement had not yet been made public.

On Nov. 13, Washington State Ferries opened the bids for the construction of two new 64-car ferries based on the Island Home design.

WSDOT received one bid from Todd Pacific Shipyards.

Bids were solicited for construction and delivery of one or two 64-auto ferries. Todd's proposed bid price is $124,450,559.00 for two vessels and $65,487,328.00 for one vessel. The WSDOT engineer's estimate is $95,943,865.00 for two vessels and $49,452,894.00 for one vessel.

According to the Whidbey Examiner, Senator Haugen said state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond contacted her Nov. 25 to inform her that Governor Christine Gregoire had given the O.K. to accept Todd's bid to construct just one vessel.

The newpaper says that Haugen insisted that two vessels will ultimately be built for the route. Money that has been set aside for the construction of 144-car ferries will likely be used for the construction of at least one more ferry based on the Island Home design, she said.

Governor was reportedly unwilling to accept Todd's bid to build both Island Home vessels since its quote may have been inflated because it was the sole bidder.

According to the Whidbey Examiner, Haugen said Gregoire was only willing to accept Todd's bid to build one ferry because a replacement vessel is needed on the run as soon as possible.

Under state law, only Washington State shipyards may bid for WSDOT ferry contracts in the case of vessels carrying up to 100 motor vehicles. That would seem to open the door for WSDOT to look further afield for a builder of the 144-car vessels.


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