The Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferries serve 33 different ports in Alaska – plus the ports in Bellingham, WA and Prince Rupert, BC – and carries an average of 312,000 passengers and 98,000 vehicles per year. The M/V Tustumena is a critical link in this transportation system, with a specialized vehicle handling/elevator system (one of two in North America) that allows her to serve South Central and Southwestern Alaska. After 50 years of reliable service, Tustumena is readying for retirement. To ensure the region receives an adequate successor to its beloved vessel, Glosten assisted the Alaska Department of Transportation and AMHS in the design of a Tustumena replacement vessel. The replacement vessel will be longer, wider, faster, and offer more passenger and vehicle capacity than its predecessor.
Designed to Meet All Ports of Call
The Tustumena ties together ports, towns, and cities from Southcentral to Southwestern Alaska, and her service affects the lives and livelihoods of many Alaskans. The Tustumena replacement vessel was designed to interface with the challenging array of docks and tidal ranges in the region it will serve – and will be one of only two AMHS vessels, along with the Kennicott, capable of serving all 13 ports of call between Homer and Unalaska. Unlike the existing Tustumena, the Tustumena replacement vessel will also be able to interface with all 22 other AMHS dock facilities through conventional stern and side doors.
Alaska Community Input
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities encourages public comment through its website and in public forums. Throughout the design process, Glosten incorporated crucial feedback from both the client and the Alaska community. Replacing the Tustumena with a vessel that is equally, if not more, versatile and capable will provide reliable marine transportation service well into the future for the residents, visitors, and businesses in South Central, Kodiak Island, and Southwest Alaska.
A New, Larger Ferry for Alaska
In January 2016, Glosten delivered the final design and specifications package for the Tustumena replacement vessel. The design incorporates the latest hull form development technologies, resulting in a 20% reduction in resistance and significantly lower fuel consumption and operating costs. The vessel’s design meets the new EPA air and water emission standards and offers Alaskans a cost effective, state-of-the-art ferry to traverse the demanding conditions of the state’s marine highways.
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