A big delivery is about to head north from Tacoma’s tide flats.
Tomorrow afternoon — about a year before its scheduled official launch as the newest member of Washington State Ferries’ fleet — the superstructure of the 144-car ferry Suquamish will leave Jesse Co.’s fabrication facility near the Port of Tacoma.
The superstructure (or top half, to the layperson) will move by barge to shipbuilding firm Vigor’s Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle. It’s expected to arrive on Thursday morning; once there, work will commence on assembling the 362-foot Suquamish, soon to be the state’s fourth new Olympia Class ferry. It’s a quick assembly, with Vigor anticipating the superstructure and hull to be joined Friday.
Each 144-car ferry built in Washington generates up to 560 direct jobs at shipyards and subcontractors, and a total of 1,300 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the Puget Sound region. Jesse Co. is one of more than a dozen subcontractors working with Vigor on the ferries.
“We take great pride in helping build quality ferries for the State of Washington,” Phil Jesse, General Manager of Jesse Co. said. “The work is important, the jobs are great, and our families and future generations are able to ride and watch the ferries travel on Puget Sound for many years to come.”
Completing the construction of the vessel with all necessary engineering, propulsion, electrical, safety and other components prior to sea trials will take approximately 11 more months. The Suquamish is scheduled for delivery to Washington State Ferries in July of 2018.