Official: Alaska ferry design on track

An Alaska transportation official says design work for a new state ferry is on track and construction of the 350-foot ship could start by next fall.

Capt. Mike Neussl, deputy commissioner of marine operations for the state transportation department, says the design of the ferry is heading for a July completion.

The Ketchikan Daily News says Alaska Ship and Drydock, which operates the state-owned Ketchikan Shipyard, is the construction manager/general contractor for the design phase of the project.

State lawmakers have made $120 million available for construction of the ferry.

Transportation department spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says the Legislature’s intent has been that the ferry be built in Alaska, said but he adds that  the builder and construction location won’t be determined until the construction contract is awarded.