Great news for Alaskan ferry users, as the state is set to receive a total of $285 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration, which will be spread across six projects for Alaska’s Marine Highway System. A portion of the said federal funding will be matched by the state of Alaska, amounting to about $100 million.
As reported by the Juneau Empire, the six projects that will get receive a cut of the said funding are the following:
$72.1 million to fund specific upgrades/modernization projects to Kennicott, Tazlina, Matanuska and Columbia deemed necessary for service and environmental benefits. The project requires a state funding match of $18 million. According to the project grant application, the fund will go toward upgrades to exhaust emissions of the Kennicott, the construction and modernization of the Tazlina crew quarters, safety improvements to the Matanuska and the replacement of the controllable pitch propeller for the Columbia.
$68.5 million will go toward funding the replacement of the 58-year-old Tustumena with a new diesel-electric ship. The project requires a state funding match of $18 million.
$45.5 million will fund upgrades to dock infrastructure at Juneau’s Auke Bay, Chenega, Tatitlek, Pelican and Cordova. The project requires a state funding match of $11.3 million, according to the grant application.
$46.2 million to fund the construction of an electric ferry using battery electric propulsion that will run routes from Ketchikan/Saxman to Annette Bay/Metlakatla, Haines/Klukwan to Skagway and Homer to Seldovia.
$8.6 million to fund the planning process and design for a future replacement of aging ferries with new hybrid diesel/electric vessels. The project requires a state funding match of $2.1 million.
$44.8 million to fund additional hours of operation to provide more reliable and predictable service to rural communities. The project requires 50% state funding match.