Al Gilson, communications, 509-324-6015
KELLER – Drivers planning to use the Keller Ferry to cross the Columbia River via State Route 21 during the upcoming spring break will need to use alternate routes for their travels.
The Keller Ferry vessel, Sanpoil, will be out of service for hull repairs starting at midnight. Friday, March 31. Service is anticipated to resume on Monday, April 10, at 6 a.m., barring any unforeseen circumstances.
During the period, vessel builder, Foss Maritime of Seattle, will repair three hairline cracks located on the side of the vessel. WSDOT ferry operators noticed the cracks during their routine inspections. A team from the Washington State Ferries Vessel Engineering Division will monitor the work. Final approval of the repairs must be issued by the U.S. Coast Guard before the ferry can return to service.
In 2014, Foss repaired a tiny crack on the port side of the vessel where a support rib intersects with a welded seam on the all-aluminum vessel. As a result, operators have kept a close watch for hairline cracks developing at similar locations.
Steering system work will also be performed while the vessel is out of service. Technicians from Rolls Royce Marine will reconfigure the steering gear chains and sensors to prevent the chains from rubbing.
Ferry Service Status Information
Up to the minute service information for the Keller Ferry is always available via your telephone. Just dial 888-808-7977 (toll-free) from any landline or cell phone. The Washington State Ferries automated system will answer, give the time and ask if you want to speak or use the keypad for your entries. To use the touch tones, press the pound sign. Then press 4 for “Something Else’ and 4 for “Keller Ferry.” The system will then jump to the current Keller Ferry recorded information. If you wish to speak your commands, wait for the Main Menu, the say, “Something else,’ wait and say, “Keller Ferry.” Keller ferry service updates can also be received by text message on your cell phone. To sign up, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov and click on the “Email/Text Updates” link in the upper right corner of the website, then follow the directions.