Todd Shipyards is sole bidder, likely to build new ferries
Todd Pacific Shipyards was the sole bidder for three news state ferries, and the bid is expected to be accepted by the state.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Todd Pacific Shipyards of Seattle is again the sole bidder to build new state ferries for the Port Townsend-Keystone run and elsewhere in the state ferry system.
The state hopes eventually to have four 64-car Island Home ferries. Todd is already building one. The contract for that boat was awarded last year. The bids opened Thursday were for the second, third and fourth boats.
The state is expected to accept the bid for two of them; it has not set aside money for the last ferry, but it hopes to build it later if money becomes available.
The Island Home boats are modeled after ferries that operate between Nantucket and Cape Cod in Massachusetts.
Todd bid $114.1 million, about $4.3 million over the state's estimate, to build the second and third ferries. Washington State Ferries had estimated the boats would cost about $109.8 million.
Todd also submitted a bid just under $51 million to build the fourth boat, below the state's estimate of $68.5 million. That bid is good until the middle of 2011.
The state's estimate was high on the fourth boat because it would be built later. The state expected there would be economies-of-scale cost savings in building the second and third boats, which is why the state cost estimate was lower than Todd's bid for those boats.
The ferry system said Todd's bid will be evaluated before a decision is announced in about two weeks.
Last year, the state took bids to build two ferries to serve the Port Townsend-Keystone route. Todd was the only bidder, but its bid of more than $124 million was $28 million over the state's estimate. The state opted to build only one boat at that time for $65.5 million — the boat now under construction. It is to be finished in June.
Meanwhile, Pierce County has leased the state a ferry for the Port Townsend-Keystone route.
The route was left without a ferry in November 2007 when state Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond pulled from service the damaged Steel Electric Class ferries then serving the route.
Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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