February 1, 2024
Skagit County Rejects Bids for Construction of Guemes Island Electric Ferry
On Monday, January 22, 2024, the Skagit Board of County Commissioners voted to reject all submitted bids for construction of the Guemes Island electric ferry. Initial information regarding the bids is available on the request for proposal index webpage below.
Skagit County Request for Bids
The County Commissioners have rejected the bids because the estimated costs to complete construction of the ferry were higher than the available funds for the project. After evaluating all phases of the project, including vessel construction, terminal modifications, and shoreside battery charging stations, Skagit County is approximately $13M short of the new estimated costs. Project estimates have increased due to higher costs for construction materials and labor.
The County Commissioners have submitted a request to the Washington State legislature for $12M in capital funding to help cover the additional costs for the electric ferry.
The County Commissioners are dedicated to improving the Guemes Island ferry service and will continue to search for funding opportunities for the Guemes Island electric ferry. Updates on the progress of the project will be released when they are available. To read more about the Guemes Island ferry replacement project, visit our webpage below.
Guemes Island Ferry Replacement Project
About Skagit County’s Ferry System: Skagit County has operated a vehicle and passenger ferry service between Anacortes and Guemes Island, WA, since the early 1960s. The current vessel, the M/V Guemes, is a 21-vehicle, 99-passenger, diesel-powered ferry that was built and put into service in 1979. Today, the ferry operates 365 days a year and transports roughly 200,000 vehicles and 400,000 passengers annually.
There are no alternative roads or highways that provide access to Guemes Island; as such, the Skagit County ferry system serves as a vital transportation link for its ridership. In addition to transporting commuters, the ferry also carries tourist traffic, construction and logging trucks, essential services trucks, and emergency vehicles and personnel to and from the Island.