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Skagway ferry terminal repairs complete

Service scheduled to resume May 11

Posted: May 7, 2014 - 3:57pm  |  Updated: May 8, 2014 - 12:07am

Skagway’s ferry terminal is ready to reopen for business, and regular ferry service is slated to resume May 11.

Skagway residents awoke April 24 to find the dock fully submerged. Ferry service was immediately halted while crews began working to determine the cause and how to fix the problem.

At this point, the state is working to verify the details, but it is believed a fresh water pipeline running through the structure may have been turned on without being checked for leaks.

“There was a waterline that did break,” DOT spokesman Jeremy Woodrow said. “But how that led to flooding one compartment or multiple compartments and eventually to the whole dock being sunk ... we’re looking at whole chain of events from when waterline began to leak to what lead to the dock becoming fully submerged.”

He added that the final review will determine if the water line leak was the direct cause or one of multiple causes, and “how that can be prevented.”

The dock will undergo permanent repairs, but immediate repair work to the passenger ramp, electrical system and the vehicle ramp hydraulic system means the terminal can reopen for service ahead of a busy summer.

Because the contract to repair the dock was issued on an emergency basis and did not go out to bid, the cost of the repair is not immediately known, Woodrow said.

A May 9 test run by the M/V LeConte will determine if any adjustments are needed to mooring and loading procedures before the route is available for public use.

The ongoing repairs are not expected to interfere with normal ferry operations.

• Contact reporter Matt Woolbright at 523-2243 or at matthew.woolbright@juneauempire.com. Follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reportermatt.

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