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Ferry out of service

Update: It's back in service


The Keller Ferry went back in service at 6 a.m. Aug. 13. after steering system issues were resolved.

The Keller Ferry is down, with a steering problem.

The relatively new ferry, the Sanpoil, went down Monday shortly after 2 p.m., and officials from the Washington State Department of Transportation stated that there is no estimate on when the ferry will be back in service.

The new ferry, with a price tag of nearly $12 million, went into service August 14, 2013, connecting travelers from Wilbur to Republic across Lake Roosevelt on SR-21.

The Sanpoil was assembled here in Crescent Bay in the spring of 2013, and took its maiden test voyage off the boat launch area here.

A spokesman for the DOT, Al Gilson, of the agency’s Eastern Division in Spokane, said Tuesday that the Sanpoil experienced steering problems when it approached the dock on the south shore. The Sanpoil is on the south shore awaiting representatives from the Rolls-Royce company in Seattle, the makers of the steering mechanism.

It is the second time the Sanpoil has been down with a steering problem.

While the ferry is down motorists normally using that route will have to go through Grand Coulee to get to Republic.

After the steering is fixed the vessel then must pass muster by the Coast Guard before going back in service, Gilson said, a normal requirement.

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