The Skagway ferry dock is still resting on the seafloor, after sinking on Thursday.
State Department of Transportation officials say they’re working on a salvage and repair plan, but don’t know the extent of damage to the dock used by the Alaska Marine Highway System.
The dock started sinking overnight Wednesday and by early Thursday was totally submerged at high tide. DOT engineers have been on-site and have not yet determined a cause.
DOT spokesman Jeremy Woodrow says once a plan is set, the department will issue a request for proposals so work can begin immediately to recover and repair the dock. He says a diver will inspect for damage after the dock has been refloated.
Oil absorbent boom was deployed around the area Thursday and remains in place.
“We’ve removed all the fuel that was to the fuel lines that ran onto the dock. And we’ve removed the hydraulic oil that was in the mechanism that raises and lowers the ramp, so we basically have removed all contaminants from the dock,” Woodrow says. “But we still have an oil boom deployed just as a precautionary measure.”
The 160-foot by 120-foot dock is comprised of 24 individual concrete chambers that have all been inspected within the last year, with no indication of wear, Woodrow says.
All state ferries to Skagway have been cancelled for two weeks. Woodrow says marine highway system officials have determined that a ferry traffic alternative is not available in Skagway.
Ferry updates will be posted at FerryAlaska.com, or toll-free at 800-642-0066. The Juneau ferry terminal number is (907) 465-3941.