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Ferries - Olympic Class (144-Car) Ferries


April 2014

WSF has a contract with Vigor Industrial's US Fab Division for design and construction of up to four 144-car ferries. Three vessels are funded and currently under construction.

Why is WSDOT preparing to build new 144-car ferries?
WSF is moving forward to build new ferries to replace the 1950s-era Evergreen State Class ferries, which are approaching the end of their service lives. Ten of WSF’s 22 auto-passenger ferries are between 40 and 60 years old and must be replaced in the next 20 years. The new 144-car vessel design is based on the Issaquah class, which has proved the most versatile vessel in our fleet and has the most utility throughout the system.

The End Result
Building new ferries will improve the safety and efficiency of WSF’s fleet and will allow us to put a ferry on standby so that we can maintain service in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Project Benefits
Benefits from the new ferries will cascade throughout the system as older vessels are replaced. Building new ferries provides the opportunity to:

  • Increase passenger comfort with better heating and ventilation, more internal seating and flexible seating configurations.
  • Nominally increase capacity at minimal additional cost. This allows us to prepare for future population growth or increased peak period ridership during the 60-year expected life span of the ferries.
  • Improve vessel design with room for a few more cars and trucks, and wider lanes for more efficient loading and improved passenger access to vehicles.
  • Improve safety with new emergency evacuation systems, advanced fire suppression, and two elevators for better accessibility.
  • Improve ADA access with two compliant ADA elevators, and wider stair towers with a more gradual slope.
  • Minimize environmental impact with cleaner burning engines, low-emissions fuels, reduced risk of fuel spills, a hull design that reduces wake, and quieter machinery.
  • Reduce operating costs with better fuel efficiency.

What is the project timeline?

  • December 2007 – WSF awarded design-build contract.
  • December 2008 - Todd and Martinac submitted technical proposal to WSF.
  • January 2010 - WSF and Todd signed agreement to begin detailed design drawings. (This agreement is part of the December 2007 contract.)
  • Spring 2011 - Legislature funded construction of one 144-car ferry.
  • June 2011 - Detailed design for production drawings complete.
  • November 2011 - Price and schedule negotiations complete.
  • Early 2012 - Construction began on first ferry.
  • Spring 2012 - Legislature funded construction of a second 144-car ferry.
  • June 2012 - WSDOT named new 144-car ferry class: Olympic.
  • November 2012 - Washington State Transportation Commission named first two Olympic Class ferries Tokitae and Samish.
  • December 2012 - Construction began on second Olympic Class ferry, Samish.
  • March 29, 2012 - Keel laying/first weld for Tokitae
  • March 8, 2013 - Keel laying/first weld for Samish
  • Spring 2013 - Legislative session, possible consideration of funding for third Olympic Class ferry.
  • June 2014 - Tokitae in service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route.
  • Early 2015 - Samish in service (route assignment to be determined).

Financial Information

WSF has a total budget of $264.3 million to build two 144-car ferries. The shipyard contract for construction of the first 144-car ferry is $117.6 million and the total cost of the vessel is $137.9 million. The shipyard contract for construction of the second ferry is $112.1 million and the total cost of the vessel is $126.45 million. The difference between cost of construction and total cost for each vessel is due to the following: design, owner-furnished equipment, construction management, final outfitting, capital spares, and contingencies. The lessons learned from construction of the first ferry, minimal engineering design, reduction in contingencies, and economies of scale reduce the cost of the second vessel.

How can I get more information?
Hadley Rodero
WSF Communications

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