The required dry docking inspection of the M/V Christine Anderson, one of Pierce County’s two ferries, will begin Sept. 17 and is expected to be complete by Nov. 2. The county’s other ferry, the M/V Steilacoom II, will handle the full schedule, which includes trips between Steilacoom, Anderson Island, and Ketron Island.

Throughout the year, HMS Ferries, Inc., the ferry system’s contracted operator, completes more than 1,100 recurring and routine maintenance tasks on each of the ferries.

The U.S. Coast Guard requires hull exams twice in a five-year period. Pierce County’s ferries are allowed to conduct one underwater exam, to reduce costs, and one dry-dock exam every five years.

Puglia Engineering, Inc. is the contractor for the $1.6 million M/V Christine Anderson project and will conduct the work at their Bellingham shipyard. The project will include upgrading the navigation equipment, fire sprinkler corrosion prevention, paint touch-up, non-skid surface replacement, and passenger door repairs. A full inspection of the vessel will determine other potential work.

If the M/V Steilacoom II encounters problems while the M/V Christine Anderson is in dry dock, the county reported that it has a contingency plan for passenger-only service between Steilacoom and Anderson Island.

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