(JUNEAU, Alaska) – The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) is cancelling sailings on the M/V Matanuska through Tuesday, April 14, at which time the M/V Columbia is anticipated to assume the sailings originally scheduled for the Matanuska.
Last month, issues with the reduction gear system on the Matanuska were identified. Repairs will need to take place at the Ketchikan shipyard dry dock. The Matanuska returned to service in November 2019 after a complete re-power, and the repairs are covered under warranty. AMHS is unable to provide an anticipated return to service date for the Matanuska at this time but we are working with Vigor Marine to get the ship repaired and back in service as soon as possible.
AMHS is aware of travel needs for upcoming school and community tournaments in March and is exploring options for alternative service. Alaska Airlines is assisting by working with schools to get players and fans to the Region V basketball tournament in Juneau.
In addition, AMHS is working to establish options for interim passenger and freight service for the Northern Panhandle in the near future. Once dates are set, AMHS will coordinate with communities to give them enough time to plan.
The AMHS 2020 Spring/Summer schedule was released last month for public comment. The scheduling team is reviewing community feedback and the schedule is currently being finalized. AMHS works to meet the unique needs of communities where possible, and the final schedule is expected to be released at the end of February. AMHS anticipates that the updated Spring/Summer service will include special runs to accommodate the Cordova fishery.
The M/V Tazlina is scheduled to return to service in the Northern Panhandle on March 5. AMHS schedules are available at dot.alaska.gov/amhs/, and the schedule will continue to be updated today as the Columbia is entered into the system.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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