AP NEWS

Alaska to mothball ferry; repair costs exceed budget

October 24, 2019 GMT
FILE – In this May 4, 2013, file photo, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry Malaspina cruises through Tracy Arm near Juneau, Alaska, as part of its 50th anniversary. State officials announced Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, that the ferry will be put into "unmanned, long-term layup status" in January because there is no money to pay for repairs. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire via AP, File)
FILE – In this May 4, 2013, file photo, the Alaska Marine Highway ferry Malaspina cruises through Tracy Arm near Juneau, Alaska, as part of its 50th anniversary. State officials announced Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019, that the ferry will be put into "unmanned, long-term layup status" in January because there is no money to pay for repairs. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire via AP, File)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A state ferry will be put into storage in Ketchikan because there’s no money to repair it.

The Alaska Marine Highway System announced Thursday that the Malaspina will be placed in “unmanned, long-term layup status” on Jan. 10.

The Malaspina will end revenue service Dec. 2 when it reaches Ketchikan.

The 56-year-old Malaspina is a 408-foot (124-meter) mainline ferry.

The Malaspina this winter was scheduled for overhaul but a preliminary investigation revealed the need for extensive steel replacement.

Ferry officials in an announcement say the estimated $16 million repair cost exceeds the available budget.

Ferry officials say there will be no impact on the system schedule. They also say no long-term decisions have been regarding the Malaspina’s future.

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An earlier version of this story reported an incorrect day of the announcement.