Some lawmakers were scrambling to make travel plans when they found out the Matanuska would not be back in service before the new year as planned.
The new ferry will run along the Tustumena’s current route from Homer to Kodiak and out the Aleutian chain to Dutch Harbor. The Tustumena replacement has been a years-old political project in coastal Alaska.
State ferries haven’t run the 120-mile route linking the panhandle with the northern British Columbia road system since 2019.
Shirley Marquardt and Wanetta Ayers will join the recently formed Alaska Marine Highway Operations Board.
All three members of Alaska’s Republican delegation to Congress voted for the $1.2 trillion bill — reflecting how important the bill is to the 49th state.
Internal emails — some of them completely redacted — show officials were surprised and frustrated with the expense of keeping the ship.
Hudson was a Republican who represented Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley District from 1987 to 2003.
Participants at a town hall forum discussed Southeast Alaska infrastructure projects — like energy projects and ferry funding — that could become possible with new funding.
Booking is now open for winter ferry service on the Alaska Marine Highway System, which runs from Oct. 1 through the first week in May.
The Department of Transportation says there are at least 125 unfilled vacancies on the marine highway, system-wide.