The three new 64-car, 750 passenger ferries constructed by US Fab, a Vigor Industrial new-build subsidiary won the regional “Under Budget, Large Project” category in the American Transportation Awards competition sponsored by AASHTO. The award was presented to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). WSDOT is now entered into a competition for one of two national awards that carry $10,000 in prizes.
“The construction of the Kwa-di Tabil class ferries demonstrates what can be accomplished with great partnerships. US Fab’s in-house engineering staff and its subcontractors collaborated closely with an exceptional team at Washington State Ferries (WSF) expediting production throughout the entire process without compromising safety, schedule or quality,” said Kevin Hein, Director of Engineering at US Fab. “This was particularly important as the project moved from an existing design to a detailed production design. Technical issues were resolved on the spot and change orders were handled swiftly.”
The America’s Transportation Awards competition, sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, recognizes the very best of America’s transportation projects in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation. “US Fab is extremely honored to have been a part of this award winning effort and proud to have played a role in sustained job creation in the shipbuilding industry in our region,” said Chris Morgan, Vice President of US Fab.
The significance of this award was also recognized by Washington State legislative leaders, “Those of us involved in transportation are very appreciative of the first-rate work by Nichols Brothers right here on Whidbey Island, along with Vigor and their divisions, on our state ferries,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, chair of the Washington Senate Transportation Committee. “It’s important that we make the absolute most of our transportation dollars, and Vigor’s ability to deliver three new ferries under budget and on time, in just 34 months, saved the state nearly $7 million.”
US Fab shipbuilders are now fabricating the first of two 144-car ferries for WSF, with delivery expected by 2014. “It has been great to find a partner like US Fab to help revitalize the ferry system in such an efficient manner, especially during these tough economic times,” said Representative Judy Clibborn who alongside her counterpart Senator Haugen laid welds on the keel of the first 144-car ferry. Construction on a second 144-car ferry will begin later this year, with a planned delivery in early 2015.
Vigor Industrial LLC is a leader in the shipbuilding and ship repair industry with seven extensive facilities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Vigor Industrial and its subsidiaries provide quality vessels built to last to satisfied customers across the U.S. and around the world.