The required dry docking of the M/V Christine Anderson, one of Pierce County’s two ferries, will begin Sept. 17 and is expected to be complete by Nov. 2. The county’s other ferry, the M/V Steilacoom II, will handle the full schedule.
Puglia Engineering, Inc. is the contractor for the $1.6 million project and will conduct the work at their Bellingham shipyard. The project will include upgrading the navigation equipment, fire sprinkler corrosion prevention and repair, paint touch-up, non-skid surface replacement and passenger door repairs. A full inspection of the vessel will determine other potential work.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) requires hull exams twice in a five-year period. Pierce County’s ferries are allowed to conduct one underwater and one dry-dock hull exam every five years. Conducting in-water hull exams reduces costs. The USCG allows underwater exams due to the quality of Pierce County’s maintenance program, vessel build quality, and route on which the ferries operate.
If the M/V Steilacoom II encounters problems while the M/V Christine Anderson is in dry dock, Pierce County has a contingency plan for passenger-only service between Steilacoom and Anderson Island.
Throughout the year, HMS Ferries, Inc., the ferry system’s contracted operator, completes more than 1,100 reoccurring and routine maintenance tasks on each of the ferries.
Visit www.piercecountywa.gov/ferry for more information.
Lauren Behm, Planning and Public Works airport and ferry administrator
Sean McDermott, Planning and Public Works public information specialist