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Inter-Island Ferry Authority unhappy with ferry delay

Posted: Tuesday, November 07, 2000

KETCHIKAN (AP) -- The Inter-Island Ferry Authority will ask the state to restore a 2003 completion date for the second of two proposed ferries to serve Prince of Wales Island.

The first ferry is to be built in 2001 and will serve the Hollis-Ketchikan route. The state Department of Transportation moved completion of the second ferry, to serve north Prince of Wales Island communities, to 2006 or later.

The IFA objects to the state's scheduling change because money for the ferries was appropriated by Congress. Participating communities in the ferry authority provided matching funds to pay its share of two ferries and five terminals, said IFA spokesman Kent Miller.

Miller raised the same objections at an October hearing regarding the addendum to the Southeast Transportation Plan. At that time, DOT Chief Planner Jeff Ottesen said more money is authorized for projects than actually is provided. DOT then sets priorities for the various projects.

Jack Meyers, a special projects manager for DOT, said Friday that delays in the IFA project are based on amendments to the statewide transportation plan.

''I'm disappointed that there's not enough money to go forward,'' Meyers said. ''This isn't the only project that's being delayed. We try to divide the money up between all the projects.''



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