WSDOT Ferries Division announced on March 27 the Todd Pacific Shipyards was the apparent low bidder for a contract to construct a new 50-car vessel based on the Steilacoom II design. The formal bid opening was held earlier that day. Todd submitted the only bid with a proposed bid price of $25,985,125. The WSDOT engineer’s estimate is $16.8 million. WSDOT will conduct a bid evaluation over the next few days before announcing an award recommendation.
“While I am disappointed that the bid came in higher than our estimate, we will take a close look at the bid and keep moving forward to build a new 50-car ferry,” said David Moseley, Assistant Secretary, WSDOT Ferries Division.
Todd Chief Executive Stephen Welch wrote Moseley in detail of the differences between the original concept of constructing a boat that “essentially looks like” the Steilacoom II, tand the contract requirements for the new boat.
He cited physical changes requested by the state, including adding a double bottom to fuel tanks, crew quarters, complying with newer safety and construction standards and paying higher costs of materials and labor.
The new ferry is expected to begin service in May 2009.
For more on this story, go to www.islandssounder.com.