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KODIAK (AP) — An Alaska marine highway ferry is ready to hit the water again after eroded steel found in a routine overhaul took it out of commission earlier this year.
The Tustumena left the Ketchikan shipyard Friday. It was expected to make its first stop in Kodiak on Wednesday, The Kodiak Daily Mirror reported.
It is one of two Alaska Marine Highway System ferries serving Kodiak. It will make stops along the Gulf of Alaska, including trips to the Aleutian Islands.
The repairs to steel in the ferry’s car deck and engine room should last until its replacement ferry is completed in about four years, said Aurah Landau, Marine Highway System public information officer.
Landau said that the ship has undergone significant work over the past few months and “should be in great shape.”
Officials are planning to schedule the Kennicott ferry in the spring to make sure island communities are taken care of, regardless of the Tustumena’s status.
The added ferry means there will be 11 trips along the Aleutian Islands next year, Landau said.
The ocean-going ferry originally was scheduled to return to service on May 27, according to AMHS. Its planned return to service was first delayed until July 18, and then again to mid-August.