New ferry hull arrives
Traffic pulls off Midway Ave. to make way for the 22-foot-wide, 300,000-pound hull of the new Keller ferry, heading for final assembly at Crescent Bay. — Scott Hunter photo
The hull of Washington state’s newest and smallest ferry, the Sanpoil, arrived in Grand Coulee last Wednesday, and Foss Maritime officials said it is due to launch sometime in late June or July.
The 116-foot hull made its five-day overland trip from Rainier, Ore., to its assembly point at Crescent Bay, without incident, officials stated. But it was a bit hairy when the truck assembly cleared a tunnel by a couple of feet and just made it under one bridge by several inches.
The 300,000-pound hull arrival was met with a great deal of interest by local residents who followed it along its route.
Foss officials stated that the 22-foot width and 116-foot length was the maximum allowed over the route the ferry took.
The Sanpoil will replace the Martha S, which has covered the route across the Columbia River north of Wilbur for the past 64 years.
The new ferry will be launched at Crescent Bay, and will undergo final testing and trial runs before being placed in service.
Two wings that will go on the side of the hull arrived in Grand Coulee on Friday and additional pieces, including the pilot house, will arrive in the next few days.
The pieces will be welded within the cocoon-like enclosure that was erected by Foss workers recently.