Willamette Awarded $15 Million To Modernize Alaska State Ferry

The State of Alaska has awarded Willamette Iron & Steel Company, Portland, Ore., a $15,228,- 500 contract to lengthen and modernize the M/V Matanuska, an Alaska state ferry.

Work will begin in October, with c o m p l e t i o n scheduled for May 1978. WISCO will employ approximately 350 shipyard workers for the job.

The 16-year-old Matanuska, a passenger/vehicle f e r r y that plies t h e I n l a n d P a s s a g e , will be "jumboized" to 408 feet from its present 352-foot length. This will involve cutting the ship in two sections and adding a new 56-foot midbody. The m i d b o d y will be built in part by FMC Corp., Portland. Other work to be done includes installation of new staterooms, crew's quarters, deckhouses, dining and recreation areas, funnel, masts, and elevators. A new solarium will be added to the a f t end of the bridge deck.

Approximately one month will be spent in drydock while sectioning sectioning and rejoining takes place.

Further modernization and refurbishing will be done at WISCO's dock on N.W. Front Avenue.

This is the second such jumboizing job done by WISCO for the State of Alaska, In 1972, the firm did similar work on another Alaska ferry, the Malaspina.

The Matanuska will be the most costly single ship lengthening and modernization job done in Portland area shipyards.

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