Alaska starts acquisition ball rolling on ferry replacement

Written by Nick Blenkey
new Alaska ferry

New ferry is expected to enter service in 2027. [Image: AMHS]

The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) has taken a step forward in the acquisition process that will see it select a qualified U.S. shipyard to build a replacement for its 57-year-old ferry Tustamena, which is now costing the state $2 million a year in repairs.

The state has now issued a pre-solicitation notice for the Glosten-designed 330- by 74-foot roll-on/roll-off vehicle passenger ferry that will replace the Tustamena. The vessel will transit the Gulf of Alaska and service communities between Homer and Unalaska, Alaska. Due to operational and environmental constraints, the vessel will feature a unique vehicle elevator/turntable design similar to that on the existing Tustumena.


The pre-solicitation notice says that “this is a federal-aid project. As such, it is subject to requirements imposed by FHWA (Federal Highways Administration). Compliance with the Buy American Act is mandatory.”

AMHS intends to provide a general presentation concerning the project and post the solicitation and accompanying documents in March 2022.

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