Washington seeks bids on five new hybrid ferries

The state of Washington is budgeting for five new ferries in a construction deal worth more than $1 billion, according to a report from the Everett Herald.

The state's first hybrid-electric ferry is slated to be named ‘Wishkah’, which will eventually serve the busy Mukilteo-Clinton route. The name, which honors the river of the ancestral Chehalis people and flows through Aberdeen, was chosen after a public online vote in 2021. 

Mega-shipbuilder Vigor designed the 144-car Olympic class boats. However, despite building the last several state ferries, the company opted not to bid on the new contract this time. 

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Instead, the Freeland-based Nichols Brothers say they will start construction in 2023 and are hoping to finish the Wishkah by 2027.