The dock normally used by AMHS vessels at Prince Rupert is out of service because of safety concerns. Apparently a "hard landing" two years ago caused some damage to the dock and now it is not safe to use without major repairs. Two voyages of MV Taku were canceled over the week end. On Sunday, the MV Matanuska, in route from Bellingham to Ketchikan was diverted to Prince Rupert to determine if an AMHS vessel can land at the dock used by BC Ferries. I watched from the main deck of the Matanuska and the landing appeared to be successful.
Unfortunately this problem developed as spring traffic is building. As the schedules of AMHS overlap with BC Ferries, there are likely to be delays in Prince Rupert landings. It is still uncertain when repairs to the AMHS dock will be completed. It is hoped that they will be completed by early June when the summer schedule begins.
Post by Koastal Karl on Apr 1, 2008 20:30:48 GMT -8
I am booked on the Matanuska from Prince Rupert to Skagway on August 19th after taking the Nor Ad the day before up to Prince Rupert. Hopefully there wont be any problems then. I am looking forward to taking an Alaska State Ferry for the first time. I get to spend two night onboard! What is the Matanuska like??
The Matanuska is a Spaulding design similar to the Coho, but with an extra deck devoted to state rooms. On the exterior, of course, the colour scheme is very different than the Coho, BCFS, or WSF for that matter. All Alaska boats have clearly discernible bows & sterns.
The mayor of Prince Rupert (Herb Pond) was on CBC Radio's Daybreak North program yesterday discussing the problems with the Alaska berth. The City of Prince Rupert owns this facility. Mayor Pond said that repairs are expected to be complete by about mid May when both BCF's and the AMHS swing into summer schedules. It was also noted that BCF will be doing major modifications on their own berth this coming fall. At that time BCF vessels will use the Alaska berth, just as they did from 1966 to 1981.
Regular AMHS service from Southeast Alaska to Prince Rupert has resumed. The MV Taku is currently assigned to the route and will be landing at the BC Ferries pier until repairs are completed. The AMHS landing is owned and maintained by the Port of Prince Rupert.
Alaska Ferries dock re-opened, repairs still needed By Brooke Ward - The Northern View - May 26, 2008
While final financial implications have yet to be determined, the City owned Alaska Ferries dock in Prince Rupert has been reopened for business as of Sunday, May 25, just in time for the American-observed Memorial Day deadline that Mayor Herb Pond had previously established.
The dock was determined to be unsafe for operations six weeks ago when an engineer’s report concluded that its physical state posed an unacceptable safety risk. Fortunately, a dock fitting immediately following the closure of the Alaska Ferries dock confirmed that Alaska Ferries vessels the Taku and the Matanuska could both berth at the B.C. Ferries dock adjacent to their own facilities, and an agreement drawn up between the two companies allowed for very little disruption for travelers.
Originally the costs associated with the repairs were estimated to be around $1 million and Pond expressed the intent to seek alternative funding due to the regional nature of the benefits resulting from the Alaskan Marine highway business. The search is ongoing says Pond, who said the City is "continuing to work on the other funding."
As for the repairs, "things seem to be on track", said Pond.
"The repair work is more or less complete at this point in time. The most critical pieces have been completed, but it is anticipated that there will be more work done again in the fall," he said. ===============