800 welcome newest ferry Tokitae to fleet | Letter

Jun 18, 2014

Editor, The Beacon:

About 800 people attended a community celebration on June 8 to welcome Tokitae to the fleet.

The event included remarks from Swinomish Tribe Elder Larry Campbell and songs performed by members of the Samish Nation. I was honored to be a part of this event and pleased to see the community’s enthusiastic response to our newest ferry.

As I told the crowd on Sunday, our crews are now breathing life into the steel and giving it a soul and making it a ship. Crews are continuing to perform operational drills, including training and familiarization with the vessel, to prepare for the beginning of service on the Mukilteo/Clinton route later this month.

Also, this week, I signed a $112.6 million change order to the original contract authorizing construction of the third Olympic Class ferry.

Along with Tokitae and Samish, this vessel will replace the 1950s-era Evergreen State Class ferries, which are approaching the end of their service lives.

The third, unnamed ferry will be constructed at Vigor Industrial by a consortium of Puget Sound shipbuilders and subcontractors and is expected to be complete in early 2017.

Funding to build the vessel was approved in the 2014 state legislative session.

Capt. George A. Capacci,

Interim Washington State Ferries chief

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