Todd Shipyards of Seattle has been picked to build four new 130-car ferries in a contract worth up to $223 million...


Todd Shipyards of Seattle has been picked to build four new 130-car ferries in a contract worth up to $223 million.


Todd was one of five shipyards that bid on the Washington State Ferries contract, but was found to be the only one that had the technical and financial ability to build the four ferries.

The state hopes that construction can begin late next year and the first boat could be ready for service in 2008.

Todd also built the state ferry system’s last three ferries under the Jumbo Mark II program from 1997 through 1999, the Tacoma, Puyallup and Wenatchee.

The new ferries will replace the old steel-class boats built in 1927 than now operate on the Port Townsend-to- Keystone route and the inter-island runs in the San Juan Islands.

The state ferries also picked Valley Detroit Diesel Allison, a California company, to build the propulsion system for the four vessels, a $44 million contract.

“This is a big step toward getting the ferries under construction,” said Mike Anderson, the acting state ferries chief. “These boats are urgently needed. They are replacing boats over 75 years old.”

The new boats will be paid for by the nickel-tax added to a gallon of gasoline and through the ferries’ revenue base.

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com