State to start over on fast ferry bid

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- Alaska Department of Transportation officials said Friday they will rebid a project to build a fast ferry after rejecting a proposal from a Washington state shipyard.

The agency earlier this week said a bid by Nichols Brothers Boat Builders of Freeland, Wash., was non-responsive, but the state had left open the possibility of reconsidering other applicants or negotiating with Nichols Brothers - the only shipyard to bid on the project.

At a meeting this morning, the agency decided to rebid the project, said Dennis Poshard, a DOT spokesman.

Nichols Brothers attached unacceptable conditions to its $35.9 million bid, Poshard said. He provided no other details, saying the conditions were confidential.

Poshard said the project carries some risk to the builder because the 32-knot catamaran is the first of its kind to be built in the United States.

Department officials said they didn't know whether the contract delay would derail plans to have the ferry in service between Juneau and Sitka by 2003.

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