Alaska Marine Highway

Alaska Marine Highway System

  • As the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway age, we must do all we can to replace them with ferries built in Alaska.
  • Having the replacement ferries built in the Ketchikan Shipyard is a real Alaska win-win opportunity.

With the passage of an $18 million general obligation bond issue in 1959, Alaska began what is now known as the Alaska Marine Highway System ( AMHS). That was long before we had revenue from oil, but there was a significant need in coastal Alaska for reliable water transportation.  Growing up in Prince William Sound, I recall well the beginning of the AMHS and its importance to coastal communities as well as interior Alaska.  As these ferries age, we must do all we can to replace them with ferries built in Alaska.

The AMHS is a huge success story of Alaska stepping up to take care of a need. Today those ferries are at an age where they need to be replaced. While the recent replacement ferries have been modified in size, the critical issue is that new ferries get the job done and can handle the Alaska winter conditions. Having the replacement ferries built in the Ketchikan Shipyard is a real Alaska win win opportunity.