State calls for inspection of cracks on ferry Tustumena

Inspection expected to cost up to $500,000.

KODIAK, Alaska (AP) — State officials are seeking an inspection of structural issues that have plagued the ferry Tustumena for nearly a decade and could impact winter sailings.

The Kodiak Daily Mirror reports that officials say the analysis will help the state determine next steps for the ferry, which has had persistent cracking at welds under the main deck for years.

A May report commissioned by the Alaska Marine Highway System recommended the ferry operations be limited pending completion of the analysis by Oct. 1.

The inspection is expected to cost up to $500,000.

Sailings of the Tustumena were canceled for 11 days last month due to repair work. At the time, officials said the car deck was getting repaired after issues with steel came up during the vessel's annual maintenance and certification.

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