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Contract signed for new Washington state ferry

The Washington state Ferries Division signed a contract Tuesday with Vigor Industrial for a 144-car ferry to be built at the US Fab shipyard, formerly the Todd shipyard, in Seattle.

Vigor spokesman Steve Hirsh says the state funded the ferry earlier this year but recent negotiations cut $6 million off the price to $115 million. The state says the total cost with final equipment will be $147 million. Vigor hopes to build three more ferries of its class. Vigor recently completed three 64-car ferries for the state.

Construction will take more than two years. The new ferry will replace the 55-year-old Evergreen State.

Washington operates the largest ferry fleet in the United States with 22 ferries carrying more than 22 million passengers a year across Puget Sound.

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