(JUNEAU, Alaska) — The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) proposed Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) operating plan for October 2020 through April 2021 is now available for public review.
AMHS revenues are significantly lower than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it has become necessary to build the operating plan with minimal essential service to most communities. Some service gaps will still exist from vessel overhauls and layups as a result of available funding.
Communities and interested people can review and submit comments on the proposed operating plan through August 14, 2020. There will not be a public teleconference during the comment period. Written comments are being accepted through August 14, 2020, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and by fax at (907) 228-6873.
The draft operating plan is based on expected funding levels for fiscal year 2021. The plan is designed to meet community service needs while staying within available funding levels and maintaining regulatory and safety standards for the vessels.
Here is a summary of ports of call and a timeline for October 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021:
Matanuska to cover Bellingham, Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Sitka, and Kake beginning February 10, 2021
Lituya to cover Ketchikan and Annette Bay except during her two-week overhaul from January 10 – January 26, 2021
LeConte to cover Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Hoonah, Gustavus, Angoon, Pelican, Tenakee, Sitka (intermittently), and Kake (intermittently) until overhaul starts February 15, 2021, resuming service April 12, 2021
Aurora to cover Prince William Sound beginning April 15, 2021. (The steel work that is needed to repair the M/V Aurora is currently underway. The original plan was to have the work completed and the vessel available to operate in October 2020. However, due to the discovery of additional steel that needs to be replaced, repairs are now projected to be completed by December 2020. Following the steel repairs, the vessel will need to complete her annual overhaul and COI recertification. DOT&PF/AMHS plan to have the vessel operational by April 2021.)
Tustumena to cover Homer, Kodiak Island, and the Aleutian Chain beginning April 15, 2021
No service to Prince Rupert (on hold indefinitely), Chenega Bay, Tatitlek, Valdez, Seldovia, Ouzinkie, and Port Lions
Service gap for Hoonah, Gustavus, Angoon, Pelican, and Tenakee during LeConte overhaul from February 15 through April 11, 2021
Service gap for Prince William Sound, Homer, and Kodiak beginning January 7 through mid-March during the Kennicott overhaul
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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