Southeast lawmakers upset with ferry changes

Dec 13, 2012 -- 5:15pm


- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Gov. Sean Parnell's plan to scale back the new state ferry project has caught Southeast leaders by surprise, and they're not happy. Parnell announced plans in Ketchikan last week to scrap the 350-foot Alaska Class Ferry in favor of two smaller ships. But lawmakers and members of a state transportation advisory board said they weren't notified of the changes before the announcement. Sen. Dennis Egan, a Juneau Democrat, tells CoastAlaska radio he's worried the new ships are too small. Another Juneau Democrat, Rep. Beth Kerttula, is concerned about delays since the new ships will have to be designed. Robert Venables, the chairman of Parnell's Marine Transportation Advisory Board, said in an email to CoastAlaska that it a "disappointing and dramatic change of direction."

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