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New ferry dock to serve Metlakatla area

Posted: July 3, 2013 - 11:12pm
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The newly-completed Annette Bay Ferry Terminal is pictured with a vessel arriving in June. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for later this month for the new structure constructed by the State of Alaska DOT.   Courtesy of David Lowell | Alaska Department of Transportation
Courtesy of David Lowell | Alaska Department of Transportation
The newly-completed Annette Bay Ferry Terminal is pictured with a vessel arriving in June. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for later this month for the new structure constructed by the State of Alaska DOT.

The community of Metlakatla will soon be served by a new ferry dock that’s closer to town. Residents and Department of Transportation officials are looking toward a shorter travel time between the Annette Bay community and Ketchikan.

Many Metlakatla residents commute to Ketchikan for work or school. Currently the trip requires traveling about 15 minutes out of town to catch the Lituya, the smallest vessel in the Alaska Marine Highway Ferry System.

The new $10 million dock will shave some time off the commute to Ketchikan, but DOT Spokesperson Jeremy Woodrow said it will also save the Alaska Marine Highway System money over time.

“By putting the Lituya on a shorter operating day it saves fuel because we’re not going an extra 45 minutes to the old dock and it saves on crew overtime,” Woodrow said.

The new dock was paid for with a combination of federal and state funds.

With the new terminal comes new departure times. Beginning July 6, the Lituya will depart from the Annette Bay terminal at 9:15 a.m. and arrive in Ketchikan at 10 a.m., Thursday through Monday.

“We’re hopeful that people adjust to it well and like the way that it runs,” Woodrow said. “I think spending less time on the ferry is going to be a beneficial thing.”

Contact reporter Jennifer Canfield at 523-2279 or at jennifer.n.canfield@juneauempire.com.

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