State/National/WorldNews Briefs

Alaska Marine Highway System begins proceedings to build new ferry

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — The Alaska Marine Highway System has taken the first step in the process of finding a shipyard to build a ferry to replace an aging vessel serving southwest Alaska.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports the highway system issued a pre-solicitation notice last month for the Tustumena Replacement Project, but a possible construction date and build location remain unknown because of a pending federal waiver.

Officials have been planning for years to replace the 54-year-old Tustumena vessel, which has been plagued by maintenance issues.

Aurah Landau, a public information officer for the highway system, says they are waiting for a waiver to the Buy American Act from the Federal Highway Administration.

Landau says the waiver for small parts of the vessel construction is required before a contract can be issued.

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