SEATTLE – Construction is beginning on Washington’s newest state ferry, the Suquamish.
Gov. Jay Inslee, state Sen. Christine Rolfes and Suquamish Tribe Chairman Leonard Forsman struck ceremonial welds Tuesday during a keel-laying for the $123 million Olympic Class vessel at Vigor Industrial’s shipyard on Harbor Island in Seattle. Inslee welded his granddaughter’s initials into the keel, Rolfes etched an orca and Forsman inscribed a circle with a dot – an ancient tribal symbol.
Money for the 144-car, 1,500-passenger boat were included in a $16.1 billion transportation revenue package the Legislature passed last year. The Suquamish is expected to begin service in fall 2018. The Transportation Department has not yet decided which route it will serve.
The Suquamish will be the fourth new ferry of its class since 2014, helping update the system’s aging fleet.
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