Shirley Marquardt and Wanetta Ayers will join the recently formed Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board.
A majority of the work group looked favorably on a controversial new ferry terminal at Juneau’s Cascade Point. Proponents say it would shave two hours of travel time on runs up Lynn Canal, allowing dayboats to complete the round trip voyage between Juneau, Haines and Skagway within a 12-hour window.
The nine-member ferry work group has reached consensus that the ferry system is too important for the state to just walk away.
A nine-member working group is reviewing a $250,000 study commissioned by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration, one that has already ruled out privatizing the state ferry fleet because it doesn’t pencil out.
More than a dozen people from across coastal Alaska testified Wednesday in support of the state’s ferry system or offered suggestions for improving it.
The first round of public comment will be from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday. A second session will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. September 2.
Critics say Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s request for federal funds prioritizes highways and bridges over fixing the state’s aging ferry fleet.
The governor says the state is in a good position on multiple fronts. One is the warming Arctic, which could allow for shipping across the Arctic Ocean. Another is the demand for minerals that are used in electronics.
Officials from a dozen coastal communities traveled to Juneau to voice support for Alaska’s beleaguered ferries earlier this week.