State lawmakers looking at cost of Washington ferries

Jan 23, 2013

State lawmakers may reconsider the law that requires new ferries to be built in Washington.

An audit suggested ferries could be built cheaper at shipyards out of state.

The Daily Herald reports the audit is the subject of a legislative hearing Wednesday in Olympia. The audit cost $1.2 million and took a year to complete.

Among other things, auditors found that the 64-car ferry Chetzemoka cost about $80 million to build compared to $43 million for a ferry of similar design that serves Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts.

The Washington ferry service says the costs were high because it was the first vessel in its class and changes had to be made in the design and construction schedule.