3/29/2012--Seattle, WA, USA
The first arc welds on the keel of Washington’s new 144-car ferry were made today by the leaders of the state Legislature transportation committees, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island and Rep. Judy Clibborn of Mercer Island.
Here Chris Morgan, VP of US Fab, starts the ceremony.
The keel laying, the maritime equivalent of placing a cornerstone, is a traditional milestone in ship building. Haugen and Clibborn marked the formal start of construction for a new class of ferries designed to carry up to 144 cars and 1,500 passengers across the waters of Puget Sound.
Work on this first vessel will produce an estimated 200 family-wage jobs at US Fab, plus 350 additional jobs at subcontractors and other shipyards in the region.
WSF estimates the new 144-car ferry will start service in early 2014. Cost of construction is $115 million, and the total cost of the vessel is $147 million, which includes owner-furnished equipment, construction management and contingencies.
Photograph by Stuart Isett/Vigor