(Photo of Rachel Marie and firefighters during this morning’s smoke incident, by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
1:55 PM: This morning’s West Seattle Water Taxi trouble (WSB coverage here) led us to ask about the status of the new boats that have long been in the pipeline. West Seattle’s County Councilmember, and Ferry District Board chair, Joe McDermott replied that the money for replacement boats is in this year’s budget: “80 percent of the funds are federal grant monies, and the required 20 percent match is from ferry district funds. Total cost for two boats is estimated to be $10 million to $13 million.” He says the Marine Division of the county Transportation Department is “taking the lead,” with a project-management firm hired and a request for proposals/qualifications under development, to go public by early next year, with “the new boats in service probably 2014.”
3:41 PM: The county subsequently has sent a news release on the same topic – see it here.
4:06 PM: Rachel Marie, by the way, has just been cleared to return to service, says the county, and will be back on the West Seattle run as of the 4:15 pm departure from downtown. Councilmember McDermott says, ” Some excellent work all day by the Marine Division. My appreciation to them and all of our riders for their understanding and cooperation.”